Sometimes a simple photograph captures more than just a smiling face. Kirby Allan knows it can catapult the mind toward a better place.
He treasures a picture of his late mother, Nettie Pittman, who
The year before, Allan took his mother to get a makeover and the portrait. The gift took on a life of its own and completely changed her outlook during those final days.
He wishes he had thought of the gift earlier after witnessing the mind’s power over health. He credits the photograph for extending his mother’s life another year.
"The best gift to give someone is something with them looking their best,’’ said Allan, a Mesa resident. "If you saw a picture of yourself that’s flattering, it gives you a big lift.’’
Allan hopes others will take time to do something like this for their parents or loved ones, especially when it’s needed.
"The more positives you feel, think and act on, the more the negative disappears,’’ he said. "Negatives cannot live where there’s an abundance of positives.’’
At age 12, Edward Fancher already has some sophisticated taste buds.
Recently named a finalist in an essay contest sponsored by Arm & Hammer, Edward will travel to New York on Sept. 13 to compete for the "Kid with the Sharpest Taste Buds’’ title.
The Tempe resident also won a year’s supply of ice cream for his creative essay on taste sensations.
If he prevails in New York, Edward will net scholarship money and a virtual office at Arm & Hammer’s headquarters in New Jersey, among other things.
Edward, a self-confessed sushi addict, will join four other contestants in a challenge to identify specific flavors of ice cream, jelly and ice pops while in New York.
He’ll also deliver a short stand-up routine about his taste buds.
"I just taste lots of different things in food,’’ Edward said. "I can taste the ingredients in the food without actually knowing the ingredients.’’
Although cooking isn’t his forte, Edward has pondered a future career for his taste buds.
"That would be a fun job to be a food critic,’’ he said. "They pay you to go eat out.’’