Some might look upon Clare’s aversion to sunlight (“I’m Sicilian and Hispanic and I can’t tan!” was a common lament) as contradictory to her favorite flower, which is the sunflower. After a few days in the SoCal beach sun, we proved she could tan (you don’t get to see those snaps… EVER!!!). Thus, her aversion to sun is based upon the ocean-less New Mexico sun and not the sun bathing her and the Pacific Ocean in SoCal. She can tan.

I happened across a number of photos from the Santa Fe Spanish Market last year, namely along Canyon Road, where it was impossible not to stop and take billions upon billions of photos of Clare and sunflowers. Here are only a few.


You see how happy she is in these photos? I kinda had the dour photo my sister sent me from Clare’s obituary snap in mind (I haven’t read Clare’s obituary . . . I’m told it reads like the cover letter to a resume) when I chose these few images to share, to show Clare truly did like to pose with sunflowers. I’ve got 33 more from different spots along Canyon Road, many with sunflowers as the backdrop. I’m saving those for another three articles, though.

I had to sneak this one in because Clare was always happy when I would find wild sunflowers for her. During our time together, I was sadly incredibly broke, not a position I’m used to being in. She said of the sunflowers I’d bring her, “They mean more because you didn’t buy them, and you were thinking of me when you chose the flowers.” I’ve used this image a lot because it is one of my favorites of her.



And I had to sneak this one in because it was along Canyon Road, one of the 33 snaps I mentioned. I can’t think of where else I’ll use it. Pure sappy love snap.

As a closing comment, as you’ve been told by Clare or sussed it out on your own, I’m relatively clever, and it hasn’t passed electronic notice that a few of the intended audience for these happy anecdotes and photos are frequenting Thoughtcrimes. Time heals, truth bears out, and in the interim, thanks for dropping in to meet the Clare Clarissa Nina Castellano I knew and loved.