From 4258 She Came 

Today would've been the 58th birthday of Janet Elyse Heaney. Undoubtedly she would've done something fun and creative to celebrate. She was always a ball of fire. Fiercely intelligent, stridently opinionated, unfailingly kind.

Janet graduated Summa Cum Laude from Boston University in the early 80s and headed west to find her fortune as a screenwriter/filmmaker. We met in Los Angeles in 1987 when she was just finishing the script for a movie called "Powwow Highway." Powwow would later win an audience prize at Sundance, get a limited release by Warner Brothers and become a revered cult favorite among Native American movie viewers.

Janet and I married in 1991. We honeymooned in Ireland and visited her ancestral home. Here's a panorama (before panoramas could be made with your phone) from our trip to the Ring of Kerry.

Janet inspired a number of the songs that appeared on P. Hux "Deluxe" including "Simple Things", "Live Like A King", "So Good" and more. That album is a favorite of people who know my music, and Janet deserves some credit.

Janet's favorite musical artist, by a mile, was Elton John. She got to meet him on two occasions, which always makes me happy to reflect on. Here she is with Elton and our friend from eels, Mark Everett. 

Janet passed away on January 10, 1997 from brain cancer. She fought it bravely for over a year and was once again an inspiration for the way she faced her struggle.

My album Purgatory Falls is named after Janet's family farm in New Hampshire and dedicated to her life and memory.  My song "I Loved Everything" reached #1 on Rolling Stone Magazine's Exclusive Download Chart. Credit for that belongs to Janet, too.

Gone, but never forgotten!

 

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  1. I Loved Everything

13 comments

  • Margaret O'Grady Kollinzas

    Margaret O'Grady Kollinzas California

    Just so intensely moving. The whole article. The fact that you and I were just a few years apart at ACS (I was class of 70). The fact that your phenomenally talented wife was responsible for writing the screenplay of one of the best movies ever produced about cultural dissonance and the challenges of young native american men living in 20th century america. One of my sisters, Maria, who used to sing with the Blues Period is a professor of indigenous literature in Portland and she even teaches from this movie. Then that song! God that song you wrote for her is incredibly painful for anyone who has lost a soulmate, but it's also really good. These connections we all have that started nearly 50 years ago! As you can see, I am blown away right now. This has really moved me.

    Just so intensely moving. The whole article. The fact that you and I were just a few years apart at ACS (I was class of 70). The fact that your phenomenally talented wife was responsible for writing the screenplay of one of the best movies ever produced about cultural dissonance and the challenges of young native american men living in 20th century america. One of my sisters, Maria, who used to sing with the Blues Period is a professor of indigenous literature in Portland and she even teaches from this movie. Then that song! God that song you wrote for her is incredibly painful for anyone who has lost a soulmate, but it's also really good. These connections we all have that started nearly 50 years ago! As you can see, I am blown away right now. This has really moved me.

  • Tom Muscarella

    Tom Muscarella San Francisco

    Her many friends all miss her.

    Her many friends all miss her.

  • John Spallone

    John Spallone San Francisco, CA

    A dear friend on both coasts, and yes, NEVER to be forgotten.

    A dear friend on both coasts, and yes, NEVER to be forgotten.

  • Joanna Malanos

    Joanna Malanos Sedona, Az

    Parth, I was thinking of Janet all day yesterday. She was something else. I have wonderful memories that keep her spirit alive within me. And I'm always sharing stories of the extraordinary things she did and how she lived her life. I love her and miss her. And was so blessed to have known her.

    Parth, I was thinking of Janet all day yesterday. She was something else. I have wonderful memories that keep her spirit alive within me. And I'm always sharing stories of the extraordinary things she did and how she lived her life. I love her and miss her. And was so blessed to have known her.

  • Debbie Dickinson Cox

    Debbie Dickinson Cox Granville, NY

    Very nice to read this and see the photos. Thank you very much for sharing. Glad to hear of the blessing Janet was, using her talents for good. Reminds me of her older sister Julie, who was my best friend in high school. I remember the oldest younger sister running around at Julie's house in Mont Vernon.... :)

    Very nice to read this and see the photos. Thank you very much for sharing.
    Glad to hear of the blessing Janet was, using her talents for good.
    Reminds me of her older sister Julie, who was my best friend in high school. I remember the oldest younger sister running around at Julie's house in Mont Vernon.... smile

  • Cerphe

    Cerphe Washington, DC

    Parth, everything about this is wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Prayers.

    Parth, everything about this is wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Prayers.

  • Parthenon

    Parthenon

    Thanks for the nice comments, everyone.

    Thanks for the nice comments, everyone.

  • Mark Brabant

    Mark Brabant San Antonio

    Great pic of Janet and Elton. We all lived the music back in the day, and Janet was the elder of our clan. Fond memories...

    Great pic of Janet and Elton. We all lived the music back in the day, and Janet was the elder of our clan. Fond memories...

  • Ricka Enotiades Hanson

    Ricka Enotiades Hanson Clifton VA

    Your description of Janet - Fiercely intelligent, stridently opinionated, unfailingly kind - for me this also equals = brave - fiercely, stridently and unfailing so. This popped up on my FB page and because I have taken an interest ... co 1/19/xx etc... I read on and so I would like to add that she was greatly loved which is #1. So nice

    Your description of Janet - Fiercely intelligent, stridently opinionated, unfailingly kind - for me this also equals = brave - fiercely, stridently and unfailing so. This popped up on my FB page and because I have taken an interest ... co 1/19/xx etc... I read on and so I would like to add that she was greatly loved which is #1. So nice

  • Holly Thrasher Schroeder

    Holly Thrasher Schroeder Nashville, TN

    Parth....my Mom just happened to pull out the eulogy Elaine wrote for Janet today, and I read it again, with tears in my eyes! What an incredible young woman she was! She lives on in the hearts of so many! How well I remember her growing up on the farm in Milton, as one of the little sisters of my best friend, Julie! What a great family the Heaneys were, and ARE! I miss them all! It is so hard now to hear of Elaine struggling with her age, and I know she will rejoice when she is reunited with her 3 beautiful, magical and oh so gifted children once again! Please get in touch sometime! I often wonder how you are doing!!

    Parth....my Mom just happened to pull out the eulogy Elaine wrote for Janet today, and I read it again, with tears in my eyes! What an incredible young woman she was! She lives on in the hearts of so many! How well I remember her growing up on the farm in Milton, as one of the little sisters of my best friend, Julie! What a great family the Heaneys were, and ARE! I miss them all! It is so hard now to hear of Elaine struggling with her age, and I know she will rejoice when she is reunited with her 3 beautiful, magical and oh so gifted children once again! Please get in touch sometime! I often wonder how you are doing!!

  • HCrabtree

    HCrabtree

    I did not know any this. Thank you for sharing.

    I did not know any this. Thank you for sharing.

  • Al Pacheco

    Al Pacheco Anaheim Hills, Ca

    I am so sad to just find out about her death at such a young age. I met Janet just after she moved to the west coast. She took a job in our proposal department at a company in Santa Monica. I was a young engineer at the time and she was just writing Pow Wow Highway. I remember how excited she was when it was picked up by Dark Horse for production. We had many a great conversation back then. Unfortunately I lost track of her, but it appears she had a great life with you. I never met you, but my deepest condolences. To this day I still tell stories of my friend Elyse. RIP!

    I am so sad to just find out about her death at such a young age. I met Janet just after she moved to the west coast. She took a job in our proposal department at a company in Santa Monica. I was a young engineer at the time and she was just writing Pow Wow Highway. I remember how excited she was when it was picked up by Dark Horse for production. We had many a great conversation back then. Unfortunately I lost track of her, but it appears she had a great life with you. I never met you, but my deepest condolences. To this day I still tell stories of my friend Elyse. RIP!

  • Parthenon Huxley

    Parthenon Huxley

    Hey Al. Thanks for your email. Yes, we had a great life. She was something else.

    Hey Al. Thanks for your email. Yes, we had a great life. She was something else.

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