Sunday, November 5, 2017

Scrapbook #3 – Jim Jeffries Obituary

Sig 1910 Ben Lomond Close up

I shared this photo back in 2014, although at the time I didn’t know too much about it other than that the man on the right was my paternal grandfather, Sig Levy. I knew it had something to do with Jim Jeffries in 1910 when he was training for a fight with then heavyweight champion, Jack Johnson, but not much else. You can read about it HERE.

As I went through Sig’s scrapbooks this year, I learned more about Sig’s role promoting Raisin Day in Ben Lomond – you can read about that HERE

And then just a few months ago I found another reference to Sig’s involvement with Jim Jeffries, although it was a newspaper article from 1950 that referenced things that had been going on Forty Years Ago.  HERE.

I didn’t expect to find much more about Jim Jeffries, which was ridiculous since I’ve learned that my grandparents (and my parents) saved EVERYTHING.  Did I really believe that would be it? 

What kind of crazy self-talk was that?  Look at this lovely gem from The Fresno Bee, March 8, 1953, page 6-B found on the next page of the scrapbook.

Jeffries Obit with photo Fresno Bee 3_8_1953 Page 6B

BOOSTING THE RAISIN – James T. (Jim) Jeffries, second from right, who died Tuesday night at the age of 77, is shown munching raisins at his Ben Lomond training camp near Santa Cruz in 1910.  He was in training for his heavyweight title fight with Jack Johnson at the time.  This old photograph is the property of Sigmund Levy [and now in 2017 his granddaughter, Debi Austen], far right, a Fresno realtor who took a couple of cartons of raisins to the Jeffries camp to publicize Fresno’s Raisin Day.  On the left is Al Quadros, who drove Levy in a buggy [a buggy?] from Santa Cruz to the training camp.  Holding the poster is Wick Adams, a New York hotel ownre and friend of Jeffries.

And his obituary followed.

Jeffries Obit Fresno Bee 3_8_1953 Page 6B

Jim Jeffries is buried in Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.

Jim Jeffries grave

Meeting Jim Jeffries was obviously a very important event in the life of my grandfather, Sig Levy, and he spent time in his later years reminiscing about that meeting.  Who knew?


  1. Your grandfather looks particularly petite next to Jim Jeffries. Perhaps that is why he is standing in what my yoga teacher calls the power pose---arms bent, hands at the waist like Superman! He was not going to be overshadowed by that boxer!

  2. Saving the obit shows a sentimental side to ol' Sig. He took the boxer a box of raisins so they were pals.

    1. Don't forget that Sig (and other family members) saved EVERYTHING!