Updated date:

That's Me....The Sun-Maid Raisin Girl

Author:
raisingal

The Story and Events

The TRUE short story of how this all came about...that I posed for the 1960 - 61 portrait featured on the Sun-Maid Raisin Box. At that time I was working for Fiberboard Paper Prod. In San Francisco. They produced the Sun-Maid boxes and artwork and where revamping the image to be more modern and updated with specific items. It took several years to use it on the box, for whatever reason.

I saw on the internet about another artist enhancing the image for the 1970 release. This version by a freelance commercial artist named John Lichtenwalner also in San Francisco. I don’t know the artist, I don’t think he worked at Fiberboard Paper Prod. in San Francisco when I did. However the image is just like the original version of me....he added a geometric design on the sun to be more modern. The Sun-Maid was centered over a figurative sunburst, using the model Liz Weide.

When people learn about me and this image...they say, "Wow you are famous!" and I reply, no I'm not famous but the image is world renowned. I'm not known as the first Sun-Maid raisin girl from 1915, I‘m the version 1960-61 published in 1970. This is just something that came into my path many years ago, and no matter what, I can proudly say, "Yes, that Is Me" on the box.

15 years old here

15 years old here

Being featured on the Sun-Maid Raisin Box

A look into the past...

Around the early part of the 60‘s, I was called to the art department at work, because I had an interest in getting into that department. Here I thought they wanted to find out about my art interests, but the artist asked me for a favor, and that was to hold a tray so he could draw my hands. Thinking nothing of this since I was a freelance model at that time, so I volunteered and held the tray.

As the artist sketched the image he was telling me about the changes being made to the Sun-Maid image and the package. They were modernizing it, more importantly, it was to be kept with the “same recognizable pose."

Some of my co-workers started calling me the raisin-gal...I thought it was funny, until I went back to the art department and saw the painting...to my surprise it looked just like me!

After leaving Fiberboard to pursue my Modeling, I never saw the image for some years. One day in 1970 my mother called and said, I was at the store and saw the Sun-Maid package and your picture was on it! Well of course I had to go buy a box.

My husband Al, Gary Marshburn, Myself and Company President Barry Kriebel...

Al, Gary Marshburn, me, Company President Barry Kriebel...

Al, Gary Marshburn, me, Company President Barry Kriebel...

Another story

For many years I had talked about it, wondering if the Sun-Maid company knew about me. Then I got a computer and emailed them, asking if they knew about me. All I got back was a reply saying, "thank you for offering to pose for the box, we have an image that will be there for a while!" I actually had to laugh!

In 1999 I had requested from a Chicago column writer about old Sun-Maid collectibles items...I also asked not to publish my request and answer. However, it was published. Our local newspaper saw this, and a reporter contacted me in regards of doing a story. I said no, but she responded it would be a short article and interesting....so I agreed.

When the reporter called the SM Company, they replied that no one there ever heard of me. Now that made me feel foolish....why on earth would I claim such a thing? I felt very unsettled. Determined to get things straightened out, I contacted Sun-Maid Growers of California and told them my story, they replied with a call and some mail information for my curiosity.

As time went by we did phone tags and emails. Then one day I was invited to Kingsburg (near Fresno) to meet with the President of the company. My husband and I made the journey February 2006, we had a wonderful meeting, and after much research they welcomed me as the image on the box.

It's a good feeling to know I have resolved something that I thought and talked about for many years...it's a good thing to have closure.

Although the image has changed with the times, the Sun-Maid trademark design has always been based on and always will be the original pose by Lorraine Collett Petersen 1915.


This Painting is of me 1960 - 1961

This is the original painting I posed for, it's in the office of the SM Plant

This is the original painting I posed for, it's in the office of the SM Plant

These are paintings in the Fresno, Ca. Sun-Maid Office

These are paintings in the Fresno, Ca. Sun-Maid Office

Sharing an experience about a nice person and an old box...

What a nice thing to do...

Several years ago we drove back to California for a vacation. On our way back we stopped in a small mining town in Colorado, visiting an Antique shop...there I found an old Sun-Maid raisin box that I have been looking for. This box had the image of Ms.Peterson from a long time ago... asking how much the small box was, I was informed it was Not For Sale, just on display. I told him the story of how I looked for this image before mine was on the box. I requested, if he ever finds another one to let me know.

About a year later I received a small package. In it was the box I had looked at in the Colorado Antique Store, with a note inside explaining, "this really belongs to you!"

I was so thrilled with this kind gesture, not even knowing this man...I am indeed very grateful to him for this gift.

What a nice thing to do!

The old box

The box from the nice gentleman in Colorado

The box from the nice gentleman in Colorado

The Original Sun-Maid Girl 1915

History of the Sun-Maid

  • Sun-Maid - Wikipedia
    Although the final version of the image was cleaned up with another person posing, it still is me! Look at my photograph of me beside the Logo.

Violet Oliver (Geissinger)

Violet Oliver (Geissinger)

Violet Oliver (Geissinger)

Girl on a Calendar

Violet Oliver (Geissinger) story, incuding her baseball star husband Earl Whitehill

A nice gentleman named Gary Neveln contacted me on Facebook, he is related as a distant cousin to the baseball player Earl Whitehill who married the Sunmaid Girl on the calendar, Violet Oliver (Geissinger)

He sent me a link to the story of Earl and Violet. At this time link is not available!

FREE eBook Download...click here

FREE eBook Download...click here

100th Anniversary Recipe Book

download FREE

Download a FREE E-reader or a PDF book Sun-Maid Anniversary eBook download

The 100th Anniversary Book pertains to history of the Sun-Maid, also answers to all your questions about the growing, producing and the marketing of raisins and dried fruits.

The commercial version

raisingal
1967

1967

Timeless...1915 - 1970

The pose will never change...

The pose will never change...

Older Ad - Libby's Fruit Cocktail and My Hand

Around 13 - 14 years old in San Francisco, Cal.

Around 13 - 14 years old in San Francisco, Cal.

Libby’s ad...was one of my first commercial modeling jobs

For many, many years I looked for this Libby's Fruit Cocktail ad. I posed for this ad around 13 years old and living in San Francisco. This memory will always stay with me, because coming home on a streetcar I started to feel faint and almost passed out, when a woman saw me and asked if I needed help. She actually got off with me, which was my regular stop in front of our apartment...she helped me to the door and then got back on, all the while the streetcar driver waited...I'll never forget that!

I actually found this ad in a Wisconsin Antique Store...does that mean I'm an antique?

My earlier modeling years

some good ~ some bad

I modeled off and on in Germany since childhood and then in California. These photos now seem a bit funny to look at, the hair and the cloths...interestingly enough some things are coming back.

I wish I had all my modeling photo composites, but I lost them over the years from moving so many times.

Some of the photos bring back good memories of modeling years ago.

A Blast from the Past are the funny ones...

Northern California New Homes Magazine - on the cover

raisingal

My first child was just born when I modeled for this...Northern California New Homes assignments were one of my favorite places to model, I had done quite a few for them. I enjoyed working with the photographer DelCarlo from San Jose "DelCarlo Photography"

New Homes - California Magazine

raisingal
New Homes ad

New Homes ad

What you are is God's gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God: Danish Proverb

© 2006 Delia

Love to hear your feedback or your opinion....

GalaxyRat on June 04, 2017:

Nice article! My Rat Templeton loves eating raisns, LOL.

C E Clark from North Texas on December 18, 2014:

Interesting article. We have a lot of interesting people on HP if you get to know their stories. Enjoyed the read!

Jane Ramona Rynkiewicz Frieman from Morris County, New Jersey on October 25, 2014:

Amazing! I am in awe! I have a memory when the Sun Maid's image was changed to yours! You are right; it was in 1970. I never dreamed I would be writing this to you. Fantastic article!

me on September 12, 2014:

Jerry Winters told me that he painted that image for the logo. He owns the Winters Fine Art Gallery in Carmel on Ocean Ave.

Zienna1 on July 27, 2014:

Wow! It's amazing to finally see the real person in the box and let alone typing a message to you is so awesome. I can still remember the days I used to ask my dad if it's a real person or just a drawing. I love eating those raisins and played with those little boxes. Thank you for sharing. And yes, I believe you. There's always people behind a great trademark and a great story.

Monica Lobenstein from Western Wisconsin on June 13, 2014:

This is a VERY cool story! Thanks for telling it. What a fun claim to fame, and I'm so glad you were able to get "recognized" by the Sun-Maid company.

Colin323 on April 29, 2014:

What a great story! And a well-deserved Purple Star for this interesting lens

I must try to get my face on a box of rheumatism pills!

Robert Connor from Michigan on April 25, 2014:

Neat story and the girls love raisins haha.

jmchaconne on March 26, 2014:

Your lenses are some of the most fascinating I've read. You're on my reading list, and it's preventing me from writing! lol

tfsherman lm on February 08, 2014:

Interesting story. You just never know, do you?

Eugene Samuel Monaco from Lakewood New York on January 31, 2014:

What a wonderful read and story, I'm glad that you finally got it settled. You are Famous!!! I'm going out to buy some rasins now!!

gottaloveit2 on January 30, 2014:

What a wonderful story. Loved it. I had no doubt that was you on the Sunmaid raisin box!

VioletteRose LM on January 29, 2014:

Really nice lens, I enjoyed reading this!

Takkhis on January 27, 2014:

Do you know that your lenses surprise me always? Yes, they do. I just knew something from you, well you are great and I think your personality is very good. I love it!

PaynesGrey on January 24, 2014:

What a lovely lens, I will never look at a box of raisins the same way again!

Lynn Klobuchar on January 22, 2014:

Amazing!

sierradawn lm on January 16, 2014:

It seems that I am out of squidlikes for the day, I will be back tomorrow when I get my new allowance.

sierradawn lm on January 16, 2014:

Congrats on your purple star for this story! It most definitely is a purple star story!

sierradawn lm on January 16, 2014:

This is such a fascinating story! How great that you never gave up on your quest and finally got those guys to do the research and acknowledge you!

Itaya Lightbourne from Topeka, KS on November 17, 2013:

I love that I'm getting to comment on someone's article that is famous!! I hope they compensated you for using your image but from what I gathered, they didn't. That's a shame. At least they acknowledged that it is you on the box! Love this story. :)

mel-kav on November 15, 2013:

Wow - what a great story!!! I love it!!!

Stephanie from Canada on November 10, 2013:

That's a really cool claim to fame!

imagelist lm on November 07, 2013:

Cool...interesting content...

Boyd Carter on October 29, 2013:

Thank you for a unique perspective on your life. I especially like the quote at the very end: "What you are is God's gift to you, what you do with yourself is your gift to God: Danish Proverb". You've done well. This is a lens that truly tells a story and deserves the purple star.

Leroy J Dayhoff from Scottsboro, AL on October 28, 2013:

What a great story! Things were sure different back in the day I guess. You sure they don't owe you some money? haha

AlexBPearl on October 22, 2013:

Great!

WinWriter on October 22, 2013:

This is so interesting. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I feel like I know you :)

DebMartin on October 22, 2013:

Your 15-minutes of fame turned out to be a lot more than 15 minutes. Very cool.

LluviaDeArte on October 21, 2013:

How neat. I was just reading your interview, and thinking what a beautiful face you have now.This is a very charming lovely lens. Thank you for writing it. You are famous.

Rob Hemphill from Ireland on October 14, 2013:

What a lovely story, I'll think of you now every time I see a pack of Sun-Maid Raisins!

GabrielaFargasch on October 07, 2013:

This is so awesome!! I remember 'you'! :) I loved eating raisins out of the cute box when I was just a few years old!

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on September 26, 2013:

That is such a cool article. I loved it. I live here in Fresno and being in the Sunmaid area, I will keep my eyes pealed for any Sunmaid items of interest. "smile". Nice lens.

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on September 23, 2013:

What a cool story! Thanks for sharing this very interesting information!

PlumberJorge on September 12, 2013:

Nice! I never knew they used real people as sun maid girls back then. :)

Corrinna Johnson from BC, Canada on August 29, 2013:

What a cool story! I loved reading how you came to be the Sun Maid girl!

CrazyHomemaker on July 28, 2013:

Wow! That is so cool! You have a really interesting life!

L Olson from Northern Arizona on July 18, 2013:

How cool is that! I feel like I have met an old friend! I remember using the empty boxes as toys, making little houses, etc out of them. Great story and article!

Delia (author) on July 17, 2013:

@amosvee: Wouldn't that be interesting! There usually is a story behind all label or ad painted images...

amosvee on July 17, 2013:

What a great story. Wouldn't it be fun to find the Land-O-Lakes butter model and other iconic images and form a very exclusive club? Nice lens.

LoriBeninger on July 15, 2013:

Great lens and great story. You are still a beautiful woman, too!

Melissa Miotke from Arizona on June 25, 2013:

This is so cool!

Lorna from USA on June 12, 2013:

I never thought that a Sun-Maid raisin box image has a story. It was a very nice story indeed. You are so beautiful, Thanks for sharing!

anonymous on June 08, 2013:

VERY cool story. Godbless you d-artist:)

sherry9459 on May 27, 2013:

its really good to see u ... whoaa i m commenting on a star's post ...

Teddi14 LM on May 05, 2013:

I just loved reading this story. So much that I remembered you when I saw this today. http://judyspostcardsplus.blogspot.com/2010/02/sun...

Aunt-Mollie on April 30, 2013:

Fascinating story. You really are a part of American history.

C A Chancellor from US/TN on April 05, 2013:

That's such an amazing story! I never thought about someone actually posing for the Sun-Maid drawing. Thanks for sharing your experience. :-)

sikiriki on March 28, 2013:

It is amazing I enjoyed very much in this story: -)

LorLinda from Denver Colorado on March 26, 2013:

I was amazed too about that Raisin Girl picture being you how awesome is that you will always be famous. Your still beautiful!

Carpenter76 on March 24, 2013:

How cool is that :D There aren't many people that can say they are the Raisin Girl lol

Nadooa on March 23, 2013:

Wow I never knew that the image was based on a real person... always thought it was an image someone dreamed up.. Thank you for sharing this with us :)

Also thank you for your comments and like on my lenses!

Sweetbunny LM on March 20, 2013:

Wonderful lens and story, happy you received recognition for your image! And thanks for stopping by!

PinkstonePictures from Miami Beach, FL on March 06, 2013:

Fantastic story

prostech on March 06, 2013:

Great story! Thanks for sharing!

anonymous on March 05, 2013:

I had almost everyone in the house gathered around to look at the pictures. It's a great account!

Melanie Wilcox from Pennsylvania, USA on March 03, 2013:

awe This is awesome. I just randomly stumbled upon this lens. I saw the word "artist" in your username and clicked. What a surprise. You're an icon! :) eheheh I read the lens thoroughly, and I really enjoyed it. Thank you for taking the time to write and share this story. :)

Vikki from US on March 03, 2013:

I actually saw this a couple of weeks ago on my phone when I was browsing and forgot to come in here on my computer. Coolest bio ever ;) What a great story.

Lynda Makara from California on March 02, 2013:

This is a fantastic story! I'm glad you finally got recognition as the Sun Maid Raisin girl. Angel blessings.

Deborah Swain from Rome, Italy on March 01, 2013:

Have always loved this lens...dropping by again to sprinkle some blessings!

Lou Martin from Atlanta, Georgia on February 28, 2013:

Wow how awesome! Now when I eat a pack of raisin I'll be thinking of you. Thanks for sure your story and I'll be sharing it with my family as well! Blessed!

writerkath on February 28, 2013:

This was a fascinating story! I loved hearing it. Also - I have to say - it's inspiring meeting someone as gracious about the entire thing as you have been. You are beautiful inside AND out! :) Squid blessed! XOXO, Kath

momsfunny on February 28, 2013:

Wow! That must be a wonderful experience. I enjoyed your story and I'm hoping you find more items to add to your collection. See you around!

Chris-H LM on February 28, 2013:

I loved reading your story and am glad you were able to get things straightened out. They were probably worried that the proper release forms hadn't been signed or something years ago.

Years ago I discovered that I was featured (briefly) on a museum film getting my college diploma. I remembered vaguely there being cameras at the time. Evidently some time later they were doing a film on the culture in the area and the college submitted that clip. Funny that for years people had been watching me walk across the stage with my silly grin.

Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on February 28, 2013:

What a great story and I love your collection of Sun-maid memorabilia!

Kimberley Vico on February 28, 2013:

Thank you for sharing this very interesting story - great lens!

Kim from Yonkers, NY on February 28, 2013:

Well Pleased to meet you & Great lens! I'm going to add it to (well for now at least) my favorite Lenses lens

Stuwaha on February 28, 2013:

This is one of the best lenses I've ever come across on this site :)

LorLinda from Denver Colorado on February 28, 2013:

That's awesome good for you!

Bonfire Designs on February 27, 2013:

I love, love this lens and your story - thanks for sharing!

Elastara on February 27, 2013:

Great lens on Raisin Gal :). Gee! I finally know the story behind the Sun-Maid cause Sun-Maid is one of my favorite quick snack I bring around with me for oversea trips or outing. Thanks for sharing the story of how you became the Famous Raisin Girl :)!

pigwear on February 24, 2013:

Wonderful lens...great to read a "real" story here on Squidoo.

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on February 17, 2013:

I have read hundreds of lenses but this is one that I could never forget. Just dropped by to bless it again. Thank you for sharing the story of how you came to be the Raisin Girl.

Loretta Livingstone from Chilterns, UK. on February 15, 2013:

How thrilling. I read another one of your lenses a while ago, but I was passing by again and saw this. I just had to come and read it.

Dawn Romine from Nebraska on February 13, 2013:

What a wonderful legacy and story. I enjoyed getting to know you.

Michael Oksa on February 08, 2013:

What a wonderful, wonderful lens! Great story, it made my day. :)

anonymous on February 08, 2013:

You know, I never thought about the image on the box until now. It is very interesting to know there is a real person behind the image. Nice to meet you.

rainbowbutterfl1 on February 04, 2013:

Never thought that I will have this chance to virtually meet the beautiful girl on the raisin box . Sun maid raisins are very popular in the Philippines .

KaraAshton on February 03, 2013:

That's a really great story to pass down to the grandkids and an interesting lens to read. I hope you find all the items you're looking for. Blessed.

Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on February 03, 2013:

I just had to come back and bless this lens. Loved reading it again. Charming story!

TACTCI LM on January 30, 2013:

Wow, amazing! My pleasure to meet you! :)

Maria Burgess from Las Vegas, Nevada on January 26, 2013:

What a unique honor! I hope they gave you a fat check for this, honestly, it's only fair. This story was great and I am so glad you shared it with us!

MiaMusement on January 25, 2013:

What a cool story! I especially enjoyed that the CO antiques dealer sent you the old box; that's so sweet. And, good on you for sticking with proving your tie to the image!

audrey07 on January 24, 2013:

I always buy those small boxes of Sun Maid raisins for my son to eat. I will have to take a closer look at the box now!

Tom Maybrier on January 24, 2013:

Amazing story! I will never look at the box in quite the same way!

hungry-deer on January 21, 2013:

:) It must be a very nice memory to have and story to share. No wonder they choose you as you are very beautiful woman. I love the dresses on your second photo too.

chas65 on January 19, 2013:

Loved the story and will keep on the lookout for anythin. Being in the antiques business for years and still playing at it, will take a photo and drop you a note if i see something with your image on it.

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on January 18, 2013:

This is really amazing and pretty cool! I am glad you were finally able to verify it with the company and be acknowledged as the model. It is rather crazy that you had to wait so long, and go through so much just to get assurance.

Hurlserv on January 17, 2013:

I wandered by to say thank you for liking my writing books lens. I was quickly captivated by your Sun-Maid and "castle" lenses. There really aren't too many people who can say their image is featured on a raisin box. It is a singular honor. Thanks for liking my lens and, additionally, providing a pleasurable side trip.

BlogAustralia on January 09, 2013:

lucky you :) I love the story and the illustration to :)

Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on January 07, 2013:

Well, you ARE famous. And you have a pretty impressive story to share with friends and just everybody. Nice to meet you, Raisin Gal;)

AllThingsPotter on January 04, 2013:

What a great story.

greentiger11 on January 02, 2013:

Thats pretty cool!

RuralFloridaLiving on December 09, 2012:

What an interesting story! Glad I stopped by.

Edita from Auckland NZ on December 02, 2012:

Beautiful story....awesome. :-)

ScottMckinzie on November 20, 2012:

WOW, you were in my lunch box for many years!!!:) AWESOME and interesting story, thanks for sharing...:)

mouse1996 lm on November 11, 2012:

Such a cool and interesting story. How cool is it to be able to say you are the Raisin Gal. :-)

cmadden on November 07, 2012:

Totally cool!

WBJanitorial LM on November 06, 2012:

What a cool story!

shewins on October 17, 2012:

What a great story you have to tell, and it appears to have lead you to create a lovely collection of Sun-Maid items.

kindoak on October 14, 2012:

Excellent stuff, thanks for sharing. I love the 70's style of the home ads!!

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