The Graf family is back in their place.
The popular landmark, which looks like a multicolored dinosaur, had been damaged and worn out over the years, but members of the Bonita community pooled the funds to hire a sculptor to repair and strengthen the two Grafs. , and returned it to its original location along Bonita Road.
“According to Jerry Gauss, the 15-year-old genius who created Graf, Graf is a dwarf dinosaur,” said Bonita resident Max Branscombe, who spearheaded the restoration project.
NBC 7 photojournalist Paul Makarushka explains where the Graf family has been and where they’re going from here.
Gauss built the first Graf in 1959. He died in a car accident a few years later and never saw them become the landmarks they are today.
“The kids are riding it and the princesses are taking pictures with them when they return home,” Branscombe said with a smile. “When I came here one day, there were chunks of toes and feet all over the parking lot. It was a shame.”
The two statues, which were removed in July, were replaced Friday morning with fanfare and cameras rolling.
“It makes me feel really happy,” said eighth-grader Shara Platero, her eyes sparkling. She said: “A new generation can see Glalfs.”
“About 10,000 cars pass on Bonita Road every day,” Branscombe concluded. “I think they’ll last a long time. They lasted about 60 years without our help.”
Branscombe estimated that repairs could extend the Grafs’ lifespan by at least 75 years.