The home of SIBA's Executive Director, Wanda Jewell

The home of SIBA's Executive Director, Wanda Jewell and her husband, Patrick Calhoun 

Wanda and Patrick have decided to move to California to be closer to their family so I thought it would be a good idea to pay them a visit in Columbia, South Carolina and make a photographic record of their beautiful home there. I also asked Wanda to answer a few of my usual blog questions to find out more about her charmed life. The photos below include views of their house and a sampling of the art that fills every room. Wanda and Patrick have collected an amazing collection of artwork and memories from their 35 years together, I have highlighted only a very few of them.

 Wanda, where were you living when you were 7 years old? Are they fond memories?
Seven was second grade and the only year we moved during the school year.  I went to my first half of second grade in Florence, SC, and second half in San Antonio, TX.  I have happier memories of Texas than Florence. 

​My parents bought their first home in San Antonio.  We moved into a new development with tons of kids and we played outside together all of the time.  There were so many of us and we always had some fun running from building forts to putting on carnivals; writing, casting and putting on plays for our parents​.  San Antonio is where I started my first lending library.

Wanda's favorite photo of herself.

Wanda's dad goofing off.

Life-size portrait of Herself, as a Goddess

Did you have a favorite teacher and are you still in touch with him or her?  
I do not.  I changed schools 8 times in 11 years (I graduated a year early.) I loved school and was a great student and had good relations with most of my teachers but none really stand out.

Pete the Cat

A beautiful portrait of Wanda as clown.

Is there a book that changed the way you look at life? 
Yes, many – a few that come to mind: The Women’s Room by Marilyn French, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem, An Altar in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor, and Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich 

What about each one change the way you looked at life.
The Women's Room explained feminism to me.  Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions showed me the things I could do to affect sexism in the world around me.  An Altar in the World showed me the things I could do to affect my internal life, and Nickel & Dimed helped me recognize my privilege and use it for good.​

Blowing a kiss. I especially loved this.

How did you meet your beloved? How did your first date go? 
We met in a bar in Spartanburg, SC on a Friday night.  He asked me to marry him every time I saw him: Saturday, Sunday, and then Tuesday, when I said yes. We were married 4 months later and it’s been 35 years. So I guess it went well.

Patrick & the lovely Ms. Jewell, on the Gulf of Mexico.

Do you have a favorite children’s book and what about it makes it so? 
Again, so many – but if I have to pick one, Harold and the Purple Crayon – it appeals on every level, and anyone can play, and its imaginative yet simple – the perfect book.

One of the fireplace mantles.

A framed print from the Round Table Room at the Algonquin Hotel.

Are there any SIBA Trade Shows that particularly stand out for you? 
My favorite shows are the ones by the ocean. And the ones where booksellers and exhibitors and writers are happy. 
The SIBA Shows that stand out just for me would be the Atlanta show when Gloria Steinem spoke and I got to go to dinner with her the night before and rode with her in the cab back to the hotel.  That is also the show where Emoke B'Racz and I connected (she saw my love for GS) and have been soul friends ever since.  My last show with Matt Bibb stands out as does my first show without him.  Our 40th Anniversary in Raleigh was great for many reasons but again, for me, most of my family attended and I was proud to share my show with them.  Which makes me think of the first Jekyll show when my dad came to see me in action.  It was so great to have him there.

The Magic Bookcase that is actually a secret door to another room.

What are you most proud of so far as Executive Director of SIBA? 
I am most proud of SIBA’s commitment to The Carver Method of Governance.  It is not easy and every board and myself has taken up the challenge.  It has allowed me to experiment and try new innovations with the net of a supportive board.    
 Tell us what the Carver Method is. Any particular “experiment or innovation” that comes to mind?

The underpinning of Carver has given me the confidence to try so many things but here are a few of them:  Peer Reviews, pursuing Scholarship Dollars, creating & selling advertising products, the Circle of Sites and Frindie programs where dues are traded for real estate, the BookLab, TRIO, Building Better Booksellers B3!, to name a few.

Their favorite wallpaper and chest of drawers.

Death writes a poem
 Is there a song that you listen to when you are feeling a bit down? 
Graceland, the album, by Paul Simon.
I love every song on this album and I'm not sure I can explain why the songs makes me so happy but I know every word and can sing and dance with the entire thing. I mean, you can call me Al! This plus Big Willie Style from Will Smith are my jam.

Where all the yummy things are made.

How are you different now than you were 20 years ago? 
I would venture to say I’m different in nearly every way.  Going thru the cancer diagnosis, double mastectomy, and reconstruction in 2009 was a life-changing event; both a physical & psychic rearrangement. I have been profoundly changed and I am profoundly grateful.

Back deck view.

Grandchild's play house.

Two ways to get to the grass, slow or quick!

Two views of the front.

Of course, a Little Free Library!

Patrick working on his Greek translation (yes, really).

Dengler, the elephant, hangs out in the bathroom.

The skylight over that beautiful bathroom.

"Always Love"

An original work by Wanda entitled "It's About Time"

What do you think you will miss most about the South? 

What I will miss most about the South.

My people, how we sound, how we work, and how we get worked up.

Lots of open space plus a slow easy pace.  

​   The weather​, and whether or not to lock the doors.
   The Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico.
   My relations, my friends, I've been here 52 of my 62 years (55 if you count Texas).
   I will miss it all.  But the again, I won't be gone.
   Work and family will bring me home over and over.

"StoryPeople" Sculpture by Brian Anderson

Wanda, you and Patrick were very patient with me and my camera and questions. Thank you both very much! I know we all wish you the very best in California, Columbia's loss is San Francisco's gain. By the way Wanda, The Women's Room was also a life changer for me plus, I can't stand still for Graceland either!


Really enjoyed seeing Wanda again and getting a front-row seat in your tour of her wonderful home. I hope you come see me one day, Jon! When my house is clean.

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