A recent Tuesday at 10:10 a.m.:
"It's kind of like the movie 'Toy Story.' A lot of them were thrown away - people didn't like them - some of them are torn. Basically, we give these stuffed animals a second chance," said Marco Marquez. His grandfather, Jose Marquez, stood by his side and year-old son Anthony sat in his arms. The collection of stuffed animals started 16 years ago shortly after Grandpa Jose purchased a Bernal Heights apartment building. Back then, Jose was a construction worker and would rescue the toys that had been thrown into gutters, bringing them to the garage for a second life. Now Jose is retired, and the garage has become a haven for him. Those who love him most always know where to find him. "I love these old animals. Sometimes I tell my wife, 'OK, I'm going to go see my family,' " Jose said. Every day in this space, Jose watches "The Price Is Right." Sometimes he watches his great-grandson and they both chuckle as he tosses the little boy in the air. A set of giant gorillas laugh back at them. On Fridays, Jose lifts Tequila shots with his best buddies. "All the time you see people going up and down the street. They know the garage but I don't think they know him," said Marco, who calls his grandfather "Dad" because he raised Marco and his two siblings, in addition to six of his own children. "He's great. There are no words to describe a man like that," Marco said.
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