Meet Your Neighbors: Giba draws cartoon characters on walls

Doris Giba (pronounced Guy-ba) jokingly said her husband, Andy, is going through his second childhood.

Look around the block wall in the couple's backyard and you can understand the basis of her comment.

Giba, 75, has painted 44 cartoon characters on that wall since he and his wife moved to Kingman around Easter 1990.

"I've done this since I was 12 or 14 years old," he said.

"I just draw and draw wherever I live.

"We always had children in bedrooms with blank walls, so I drew on the walls.

When we moved here I decided I didn't want to look at a blank wall."

Popeye holding a can of spinach is among the characters depicted.

If you like super heroes, you may want to study Batman and Superman, who are separated only by the back gate.

Bugs Bunny and two of his foes, Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam, are present, too.

So are Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are on a side gate and close to Captain America.

Other characters include Pinocchio, Pepe Lepew, Daffy Duck, Goofy, the Rug Rats, Donald Duck's nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie, Betty Boop, Peter Pan, Dumbo, Bambi, Thumper, Jiminy Cricket, Woody Woodpecker and Wile E.

Coyote.

He is still looking for a good likeness of the Roadrunner as a future painting project, along with Spiderman, Giba said.

Some of the paintings were done with acrylics, others with water or oil-based paints.

Giba prides himself in the knowledge that all of the paintings were done free hand and not through tracing.

The head size and height of each character is proportionately matched.

The Phantom is Giba's most recent work, completed three weeks ago.

"It came out lousy because my hands were giving me trouble," he said.

Arthritis has slowed down his painting efforts, but he has no plan to stop because of the affliction.

Giba is upbeat throughout the conversation.

He has had four near-death experiences and gone through numerous major surgeries in his life.

"I had a total replacement of my (left) knee, had a plate put into my neck in the cervical spine and underwent back fusion 40 years ago," Giba said.

"I had a six-way bypass done and pacemaker implanted, and have numerous stents in my body."

Still, he does not complain about what life has dished out to him.

Giba served 13 months in the Navy during 1948-49.

He was an aviation mechanic assigned to Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

His parents became ill and he was given a dependency discharge, Giba said.

Giba was born and raised in Perth Amboy, N.J.

He and Doris have been married 52 years and have six children, 10 grandchildren and five great grandchildren.

He said the best years of his life came from 1960 to 1967 when he lived in Sitka, Alaska, where he worked as an electrician.

Deer hunting and salmon fishing were among the things he most enjoyed.

The family freezer was kept stocked with venison as hunters were permitted to take six deer per person in their families as long as the hunting was for food, Giba said.

"I paid our doctor with a freezer full of venison, salmon, halibut and king crab when he delivered our son, Jonathan (in 1962)," Giba said.

"I've told Jonathan that if he's unhappy in life I'll return him and get back my freezer of food."

Andy and Doris moved to Kingman from Antelope Valley, Calif.

upon his retirement 12 years ago.

He said the cost of living was too high in California.

Neighbors is a feature that appears Monday in the Kingman Daily Miner.

If you have an interesting story you'd like to share, contact Terry Organ at 753-6397 ext.

225.