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Magazine put local baby into spotlight

In the picture, little Zoe Elise Howes grins from ear to flour-covered ear.

Tuesday, October 24, 2000

In the picture, little Zoe Elise Howes grins from ear to flour-covered ear.

Mom, Missy Wise-Howes, has a simple explanation.

"She loves to play chef at home."

Hundreds of thousands of people across the country know that, too, especially now that Zoe’s photo graces page 24 in November’s "Good Housekeeping" magazine.

The picture – of Zoe draped in a chef’s hat sitting in front of a mixing bowl – came to life last year during a photo session at Powell’s Photography in Ashland, Ky., shortly after she turned 1 year old.

This summer, mom saw a baby photo contest advertised in "Good Housekeeping" and sent her little treasure’s snapshot through the mail.

"They got over 3,000 and they called and said they thought her picture was the cutest one of all," Mrs. Howes said.

Editors put Zoe’s grin in the corner of one page under the heading, "Oh baby!"

When the magazines hit the newsstands, friends, relatives and neighbors hit the phone lines.

"Oh, a lot of people called," Mrs. Howes said. "They can’t believe a little girl from Ironton is in there. She’s so cute, they’ll say."

Famous, too.

During a late-night talk show recently – mom forgets which one – the host chatted with movie star Bette Midler, who just happened to be featured on the November cover of "Good Housekeeping."

"She was flipping through it and said, ‘Oh, what a cute baby,’" Mrs. Howes said.

It’s just unbelievable, she adds.

Zoe turned a fun-loving 2 this year.

Usually, you can find her little friends along South Fifth Street near her home as mom and dad, John, watch from their porch.

She’ll probably be a movie star someday, they say.

Zoe will agree, even if she just shakes her head.

"Then I ask her if she wants to be a nurse like mommy and she says, ‘No, I want to be a superstar,’" Mrs. Howes said.