KINGMAN – Jon Reinhardt was a student prone to "doodling" during his elementary school years.
"I've been interested in art since I was a kid," he said.
"I was one of those kids who got into trouble for drawing pictures (instead of paying attention to the teacher)."
Reinhardt, who was born in Angwin, Calif., has no formal art training.
But it has led him into creating wall paintings and carvings that are in high demand in what for him is a hobby.
It also has opened up a world of travel.
In the early 1970s, Reinhardt was in Europe studying Greek art and Egyptian tomb and wall paintings.
He moved to Long Beach, Calif., in the mid-1970s to study Asian art and architecture.
By the late 1970s, Reinhardt was studying pre-Columbian art and architecture in San Jose, Calif.
In the early 1980s, he moved to Hawaii, where he studied South Pacific art while carving Tiki spirit boards.
"I founded the Molokai Gallery (in 1984)," he said.
"I did so to sell art on a commission basis for other artists, who were being ripped off by the galleries there.
"Those galleries took 50 to 60 percent of the sale price of a work, and that's not right to the artist who has worked his tail off.
I sold their works on a 20 percent commission basis."
Reinhardt sold the Molokai Gallery the following year to a woman from Santa Cruz, Calif., because it was impractical for him to run it and at the same time keep his hand in art.
In the late 1980s, he headed to San Francisco to study modern art techniques and print carvings.
He also spent 14 years in New Orleans before moving to Kingman in January 2004.
Reinhardt's architectural interest was inspired by his grandfather, who was a carpenter and taught him how to build.
Don Van Vliet, a childhood prodigy in the 1950s, was his greatest art influence, Reinhardt said.
Van Vliet had his own television show and was a painter and sculptor who exhibited extensively in New York City.
Reinhardt said his paintings and carvings are largely inspired by ethnic religions, many of which depict Egyptian wall paintings or Greek temples.
He has studied various art forms in libraries and museums.
"As far as paints, I've worked with oils, pastels and water colors," Reinhardt said.
"But I prefer acrylics.
"Acrylic paint dries faster that other types and you can easily thin it to water color consistency, making it simple to go from dark to light."
Reinhardt said he most enjoys using hard woods like rosewood or cherry for his carving work.
He occasionally works with mahogany, which requires a gentler touch.
He describes mahogany as "like carving butter with a knife because it will break easily."
Reinhardt said he also has done security work for the U.S.
"I was a photojournalist from 1969 through 1972 all over Europe," he said.
"I traveled to Greece, Scotland, Portugal and Germany, logging 15,000 land miles per year.
"My interest in photography goes back to high school when I bought junk cameras.
I take pictures digitally now."
In addition to traveling and living in Europe, Reinhardt lived in California for 32 years.
He also has spent time in Georgia and Wisconsin.
"I first came through Kingman in 1960," he said.
"I kept coming through regularly and the town has grown and grown.
"The air here doesn't smell like New Orleans, where there is so much mildew.
It's just as hot here, but drier." Reinhardt said he has spent 30 years as a communications engineer, working for such companies as Western Union, Comsat and RCA.
His time in New Orleans was spent as a satellite television engineer for Network Teleports and the Social Security Administration's National Satellite TV network.
Reinhardt is presently doing wall paintings at the home of a friend.
He said future projects would be undertaken "as the spirit moves me."
Neighbors is a feature that appears Mondays in the Kingman Daily Miner.
Americans came together to win WW II
I looked out my window Memorial Day weekend at the flags flying over business establishments, homes and in public places and remembered those who have made my life free and prosperous.
Then I watched as nations thanked our troops at Normandy where thousands lost their lives to keep us free.
Sixty years after WW II, the U.S.
has finally built a fitting memorial to the vets of that terrible conflict.
Most communities across the country built memorials years ago to honor the local heroes.
The world celebrated the 60th anniversary of D-Day that began the end of the war in Europe.
I was old enough to remember but too young to enlist.
My dad was too old to go so we did what we could on the home front.
WW II was that kind of war where every individual in this country pitched in and did something that helped win the eventual victory.
But, it was not always that way.
Prior to the Dec.
7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, there was intense debate over the United States role in stopping Hitler in Europe.
Some people still argue that President Franklin Roosevelt planned the Pearl Harbor attack to give him a reason to declare war in Europe.
Yes, we had our illogical detractors in those days.
The United States had many citizens who believed the two oceans would protect our country, and we could be safely isolated from world events.
Once in WW II, we did not complain about the cost, the combat deaths, the lack of sugar and gasoline or the long hours of work.
The country came together and supported the president 100 percent.
The reason was simple.
Our actual existence as a free people was at stake.
It was win at any cost or learn to speak Japanese and German.
Freedom of the world was at stake.
It is difficult these many years later to even imagine the horrors of Nazi and Japanese death camps and the routine torture.
Those cultures have changed so much in the past 60 years that few would believe what went on at Bataan or in Poland.
Defeat followed defeat in the Pacific for months and months as the Japanese armies pushed our troops south island by island nearly to Australia.
That was followed by agonizing months of taking back each island in the march toward Tokyo.
Blood stained the beaches going and coming.
We lost 2,500 Marines in the first 24 hours of the invasion of Iwo Jima.
Those deaths were on just one Pacific Island in one day.
We have lost more than 800 in Iraq in more than a year.
I wonder if we could have won WW II with the kind of media coverage present in Iraq today.
Would we have given up with daily television pictures of the losses on Iwo Jima and Normandy? How would the public have reacted with pictures of U.S.
Marines shooting flames into island caves and Japanese soldiers running out in flames?
War is still hell.
Yet, the alternative can be even more hellish.
Sometimes evil must be stopped or freedom sacrificed.
Most of those soldiers who returned home after WW II picked up their lives and moved on.
Most were tight lipped about their experiences.
They just wanted to forget.
Maybe the difference between that horrible time and more recent fighting is the degree of threat each American felt.
Defeat or just walking away was not an option after Dec.
On the other hand, some historians contend that WW II would have ended before the Japanese attack Dec.
7, 1941, if our people had recognized the threat from Hitler was real and would threaten freedom in every corner of the world.
Could we have saved ourselves blood and sacrifice by recognizing the danger earlier?
We do know from history that not doing anything to stop the dictators in Germany and Japan did not keep us from the need to stop them later.
The job just got tougher later.
If the threat of terrorism in the world is limited to the Middle East, than we need not be in Iraq.
If the terrorists have the same world domination goals as Hitler had, then we will be forced to fight them here or give up our way of life.
That is the great debate and critical issue in the current war on terrorism taking place largely in Iraq and Afghanistan.
If you believe the terrorist threat is just Osama bin Laden's people and can be contained on foreign soil, than getting out of Iraq quickly will not be dangerous to you and me on the home front.
If you believe the terrorist organizations have a common goal, cross country boundaries with ease and want to control the world, then defeating them in Iraq and the Middle East is the right policy.
Those of us with roots in the WW II era do not want to wait until terrorists get nuclear weapons and expand the fight to daily suicide bombers in American cities.
My crystal ball does not give me an answer.
Marvin Robertson is the Miner's business/city government reporter.