Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pick a Card, any Card

I grew up in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  It's a predominantly German, Catholic area (about 90% Catholic) with a Belgian enclave to the northeast and some Polish outposts here and there.  When I was a kid it was still quite agricultural, but of course like every place that's changing.

Neither of my parents were born in the area but they lived in Green Bay for a long time.  My mom and Grammie had the Green Bay accent down pat and would talk to each other in a very exaggerated rendition of it.  I still think it's hysterical and my sister, mom and I still talk that way with each other (or should I say, we tak dat way wit each udder, n'so?).

One of the things I closely associate with that accent is card-playing.  I grew up in a household where the strongest card games played were Go Fish and Old Maid.  My mom and dad played a lot of Cribbage before we were born, but for some reason gave it up after we came along.  My parents were/are avid readers, so that's how we spent our evenings (or Jen and I would watch TV or listen to the radio).  So I had no idea how to play "Crap on Yer Neighbor" (also called "Screw your Neighbor), Euchre, Sheepshead (this one was HUGE in the Green Bay area!) and Couillou (I have no idea if this is spelled right, but my former husband played it in his very Belgian hometown of Casco).  If you were to visit 100 homes on a Saturday night, I'd bet 45 of them would have some kind of card game going, especially if the residents of those homes are over 50.  Drinking goes hand in hand with these games, which is probably why my parents didn't play much (when I was growing up, I lived in a pretty dry household - never anything stronger than a Rose wine and NEVER hard liquor!).

I've discovered the joys of Cribbage thanks to Brian, and we oftentimes play Dominoes (the very un-PC version called "Mexican Train") with my in-laws.  It's FUN!  In fact, this is how we normally spend our Christmas Eves.  Talk about laid-back and relaxing - and hootful!

Playing cards are EVERYWHERE.  But like other games, sometimes a card gets misplaced and the deck's no good.  And of course with the onset of the all the casinos in the country, they have to replace decks constantly and you can find those decks for sale for CHEAP! 

They're also the same size as an Artist Trading Card!  Talk about a very inexpensive substrate for your artwork!  It's also a great way to recycle them.  Of course, I like the vintage ones - I don't have many but the ones I do have I love.  :D   I also have a lot of teeny-tiny ones, because I adore mini stuff!

And I have done artwork with them!  Here are a couple of examples:

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