When my sister and I were kids, we spent countless hours playing cards with our grandmother, affectionately called “Gaga” (long before the pop-star made the name fashionable!). Our favorite game, bar none, was “Old Maid,” and oh how we cackled when our worthy opponent drew the unenviable card!
This week, my sis turned 40, and I wanted to give her something special — a nostalgic present that meant something to just the two of us. What better gift than a set of those vintage 1970s Whitman playing cards from our past, in all their whimsical (albeit, now non-PC!) Old Maid glory.
When I first saw a set for sale on eBay, I was ecstatic. The colorful playing card “characters,” including Diver Dan, Fifi Fluff, and Postman Pete, jumped right off the screen and instantly summoned all my preschool memories of careless days, passing time on my grandmother’s screened-in porch. What a bargain for only $6.00, plus shipping & handling!
But rather than simply give my sister the deck in its original plastic case, I wanted to display the individual cards as wall art. After considering a multi-baseball trading card frame (trading cards are the exact size as playing cards), I chose a collage frame which was originally intended for 3×5 photos. Naturally, I made the Old Maid card the centerpiece.
While good ol’ Gaga passed away many years ago, her memory lives on with us in numerous ways — and now, through this loving keepsake. Maybe this idea has inspired you to take some other retro playing cards and frame them for a child’s room, a family game room, or a gift for a childhood friend. Regardless, it’s a great way to celebrate a meaningful, perhaps-waning, American pastime in a simple, creative manner.
P.S. Sis — I promise the Old Maid theme was not a jab at your single status on this milestone birthday! Hope you had a great one! 🙂