Sunday, December 9, 2012

Parties and Cards and Business – Oh my!

The next page of the scrapbook is quite a hodge-podge of stuff.  Cards from Sig to Loraine, a dinner menu, table reservation, and even Sig’s business cards!  There really is no theme here – just a bunch of stuff that obviously had meaning for my grandmother, Loraine Gunzendorfer.

We try to save menus from special occasions or from our favorite restaurants so I’m really happy she saved this – I think it might need to be framed and added to our menu collection.


I can just imagine what an elegant evening this was.  I did a little research on the Islam Temple in San Francisco and learned that the temple was built in 1917 at a cost of approximately $150,000.

SF Temple 1917

The Shriners used this building at 650 Geary Street (between Jones and Leavenworth) for meetings and ceremonies from 1918-1970.  The temple was later converted into a small theater to replace the Alcazar Theater, which was originally opened in 1885 and then destroyed in the San Francisco earthquake in 1906.

My grandfather, his brothers, his father, and my father were all active in the Shriners.  In fact, as I researched this organization a bit I came upon this web site Islam Temple Roll of Honor – 1918.  There in the Roll of Honor was my grandfather, Sigmund Levy!  And farther down in the list is the Executive Committee, on which Sig’s brother, Herbert Levy, is listed for Fresno and vicinity. 

Looks like Sig and Loraine had a table reservation in Room 12.  I'd love to know how many rooms there were.


Also on this page are two business cards for Levy Brothers, the family business that Sig was a part of with his three brothers.  Loraine kept two business cards – one before Sig joined the firm and the other after he joined.

Business Card Before Business Card After

I have to laugh that when Sig joined the firm they added the phone number 239 to the established office number of 240.  These days we have to dial 10 digits to get someone!

This little note was written on the back of a business card and is dated September, 1916.  Sig must have attended the fair in Sacramento. 

State Fair

But this little card dated July, 1917 really puzzles me – what could Sig have possibly done to worry that Loraine might be angry with him?

Envelope 1917 Dont get angry

I know how important these items must have been for Loraine to have put them into her scrapbook and then to hang on to them for the rest of her life.  And what a gift that she even put the dates on some of these things for me.  It’s almost like she knew that one day someone might care. 


  1. How interesting to have a menu collection. I have two - one from a special dance my dad attended in college and one from a beach bar my mother went to. The food selections make these two menus interesting.

    1. We particularly like to save the ones that are dated which helps to always remember the evening. Looks like I may have picked up that trait from my grandmother.

  2. I love it. It makes me think that I need to be better about saving and recording such things of my own because it makes it fun for descendants to see what we did and participated in. Nothing is insignificant when it comes to my ancestors and I treasure each item that relates to their life. It's weird to think some day we will be the ancestors and I confess I am not doing very well to leave things that will help them to know and define me.

    1. I haven't been good at marking the back of photos. I always thought I'd remember who everyone was but now I realize that it's not about me but those who will come after me. I need to go through ALL my photos and label them even though it seems like a daunting task.