Xi’An to TX and Mao to LBJ — I’ve Been Traveling and I’m Back

Writer Barbara Falconer Newhall wears a khaki Mao hat with numerous Mao buttons in Beijing. Photo by BF Newhall

Beijing: Wearing a Mao hat with lots of cool Mao buttons. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I had a great September — starting with on my birthday September 6, which lasted only a few hours because Jon and I were on a plane to Shanghai when somewhere over the Pacific we hit the International Date Line and September 6 turned abruptly into September 7 and I fell asleep.

Writer Barbara Falconer Newhall poses with a mock-up of Pope Francis at the Religion Newswriters Association conference in Austtin, 2013. RNA photo

Religion Newswriters: A little donation to the RNA gets you a few intimate moments with an adorable Pope Francis. RNA photo

Following on the heels of our two weeks in the fast-paced, go-getter cities of China was the weekend I spent in the 95-degree heat of Texas for the annual Religion Newswriters Association conference.

There was lots of furious note-taking and, every chance I got, lots of touting my spiritual journey/memoir book, Wrestling With God to RNA friends, colleagues and anyone else who’d listen.

Then came the icing on the cake — two days of tooling around quirky Austin, TX, with Ginger, an old San Francisco Chronicle copy desk pal, and her husband.

You’ll be hearing more about my September adventures and photo ops — China, Texas, God, old friends — in the coming weeks.

Writer Barbara Falconer Newhall visits the Radha Madhav Dham temple in Austin, TX, and a portrait of Krishna and his consort. Photo by Don Lattin

Radha Madhav Dham: At this Hindu temple outside Austin devotees practice loving devotion to God in the form(s) of the playful deity Radha Krishna, pictured idyllicly here on a temple wall. I like their feet. Photo by Don Lattin

Writer Barbara Falconer Newhall poses in front of the LBJ automatron at the LBJ library and museum in Austin, TX. bf newhall photo

LBJ Library: That’s a joke-telling automaton of LBJ in the background. He was a funny guy, and he got a lot done — back in the day when we elected grown-ups to Congress. Photo by Ginger Rothe



  1. Barbara Falconer Newhall says:

    Hmmmm. Looks like I’m going to need to get another expression for my face — besides that big smile — when getting my picture taken.

  2. Jean MacGillis says:

    Love the hat, Barb. Love your blog too, of course!

    • Barbara Falconer Newhall says:

      I like the hat. I remember noticing during a visit to the USSR back in the Iron Curtain days that young Soviets loved to collect these cheap, thin pins from places they visited. It seems the Chinese are still manufacturing the Mao buttons — either that or I scored some mid-century antiques.

Leave a Comment