Thursday, December 7, 2017

Playing Canasta.

Playing cards and board games are a family tradition in the Schwartz household in Iowa. Grandma Schwartz, and Pam's other grandparents, have been carrying the card game Canasta on as a family tradition for decades. I followed along trying to understand all the rules. Two team members sit diagonally across from each other, the cards are put down on the table in groups and the first team to get rid of their cards wins the round. Any cards remaining in players' hands are then added up as negative points.

These card games can go on until three in the morning. I sat in on several games with Pam Schwartz offering advice over my shoulder. For the kids, we played Gubs, which is a card game in which you try and collect as many Gubs (bugs) as you can. The trick is that opponents can steal your Gubs, entrap them, or even kill them. I never did manage to hold on to all my Gubs.

Thanksgiving was a week long event in which family slowly arrives in a crescendo until Thanksgiving day when there were 24 people in the Iowa household. Then over the next several days people slowly disappear. When the house was full, everyone shouted out their story over each other. It was a bit overwhelming at first, but then I adjusted and just enjoyed the variety of exchanges. All the board games reminded me of Thorspecken family games that I have sketched in the past. My family however has scattered to the winds and no one household hosts large holiday parties.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

No comments: