The Boarding House - 1/52

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With the beginning of 2017 comes the beginning of my new blog and the start of my 52-week photography project. I hope to learn a new story with every portrait I take, and then take the time to share the story with whoever wants to hear it. I may find myself talking in an empty room with this blog, and if that is the case then I’ll keep talking because the reason I’m doing this is to become better and to learn something new.

After deciding to do this project on Dec 31st, 2016, I put out a social media post asking for people to photograph. Didn’t get any true responses that didn’t involve a five-hour drive, so I thought about my surroundings. I live in a real neat town in central Oklahoma, Guthrie, that has a variety of cool shops and awesome people. Having visited a lot of the cool shops, I hope to be able to take some neat photos of the shop owners, and I started the project off doing just that.

Kailyn Swonger along with her husband Tim are the owners and operators of The Boarding House in Guthrie. TBH is a board game café, a location where community members can come together to grab a cup of coffee, meet with their friends and most importantly play their favorite table top, card or board game.

“A board game café just felt right,” said Swonger. “It felt weird enough, nostalgic enough and different enough that we could really make a go of it in Guthrie. The climate in Guthrie, and I tell everyone, in 5 to 10 years Guthrie is going to look completely different, and I’m excited to be able to be here to bring new and interesting ideas to Guthrie.”

At TBH you can play games ranging from the classic and traditional games such as Monopoly and the Settler of Catan (the game that showed me there is so much more to board gaming then Clue and Risk) to new and popular card games such as Cards against Humanity and Joking Hazard. To play games, you pay a small fee of $5 a person and play whatever games you want to play all day. Alongside playing games TBH has a concession stand with hot and cold drinks as well as snack foods to keep you going all day.

It doesn’t matter if you haven’t played a board game in years, or you have a collection that could rival the 350 board games offered at TBH, the door is open to you.

“It became apparent as soon as we moved here that there was no community space open after work hours,” said Swonger. “If I wanted to get away for a while after work there was nowhere to go to drink a cup of coffee, or read a book, or get on Wi-Fi. The original idea of TBH was just a community space for people to hang out.”

If you’re wondering, Kaylin and Tim where not board game enthusiast before opening TBH. They relayed on help of others to pick the games available to play, and you might find them sitting down and learning the game right alongside if you need an extra player.

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