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

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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

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 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 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'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.

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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 here

FREE eBook 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



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


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

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: