Here's a word or two about the lovely oil painting that graces this week's cover. It's not too often that we put portraits on the cover, but we couldn't resist the backstory. It turns out that this week's artist, Joan Thomas, was in a local sandwich shop and when Ashley, a young woman working behind the counter, noticed she looked a bit sad. Ashley offered Joan a free cookie. Little did she know that Joan was grieving the recent and unexpected loss of her youngest son. Joan told Ashley that she was a painter and that Ashley had "a lovely and interesting" smile. She asked Ashley to pose for her near Barber Park, and she agreed. Joan even told Ashley that someday her portrait might make the cover of Boise Weekly.

Ashley later wrote to Joan to say that after training at Life's Kitchen and taking several jobs at local businesses, she's now a shift lead at the new Albertsons grocery store on Broadway Avenue.

"It all started with kindness," wrote Ashley, adding that Joan had her full permission to submit the painting as a Boise Weekly cover. The rest, as they say, is history.

–George Prentice, Editor

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