The University Travel Club will present Dale Johnson's journey to Sweden at Kingsbury Hall Tuesday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m. Johnson is a movie and television filmmaker. Sweden is the land of his ancestors.
One-quarter of Sweden's population immigrated to America in the last century. Join Johnson as he visits Sweden in search of his roots. His journey began with only the names and birthdates of his great-grandparents, but he was able to locate the province, the village and even the farm where his great-grandfather was born. Discover with him the joy of walking through the fields and forests his great-grandfather had wandered through more than 150 years ago. "In my search," Johnson says, "I found much more than my roots. I found a country of great beauty and . . . perhaps one of the most civilized nations on earth with one of the most advanced and humane social systems of the Western world."On this ancestral trek, Johnson found that Swedes have gone to great lengths to preserve their ancient history. View with him village practices re-enacted from traditions that are 1,000 years old. Explore the ancient art of glass-making in Orrefors and wander through Sweden's Stonehenge, the giant rune stones of southern Sweden that are mysteriously placed in the shape of a boat. Discover why Sweden is called the land of the midnight sun. Go on a spring roundup of reindeer with the Laplander herders and observe rare northern lynx in remote forests. Visit farms where the farming traditions are centuries old and explore the traces of Viking ancestry.
From the northernmost city of Kiruna where you will explore iron mining and see the 400 miles of underground roads, to the Island of Goteland where wild horses roam and the eighth century way of life is still observed, to Malmo, the largest town on the country's southern tip, Sweden is a country where ancient and modern reside together.
Stockholm exemplifies this. Called the Venice of the North, Stockholm is a bustling metropolis, a film production center and a shopper's dream. In the "old city," you will learn about the historical massacre that led to revolt and independence.
Visit Goteborg, the country's manufacturing center, where build-ing products produced there set the world's standards for excellence. Watch Volvo cars and Hasselblad cameras being made. Tour Lund University campus, which boasts one of the most sophisticated medical research facilities in the world, and glimpse, as you will on campuses everywhere, student romance. Visit the University of Uppsala, the oldest in Sweden. "It is from such campus facilities," Johnson said, "that educated students gain the knowledge to continue the transformation of Sweden from the poor country it once was."
Johnson has filmed hundreds of commercials, documentaries and theatrical features. He has traveled all over the United States and in several foreign countries. He began his film career in Central America, where he lived with the Choco Indians in lower Panama in the jungles near the Colombian border. Returning to the United States, he attended the University of Texas and, as a student, began working in the commercial film business in Dallas. Following graduation, he worked on television specials for CBS and ABC television networks, filmed and directed the outdoor TV series "The Lone Star Sportsman" and produced many documentary films on the space program at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. He spent five years at NASA working on many films during the Skylab era.
This travelog is the last of this season's presentations.
UTC films are open to the public. Tickets are available by mail or phone. Call 581-7100 for more information. A free shuttle will take you from Rice Stadium parking lot to Kingsbury Hall.