In Memory

Troy Weidenheimer

Troy Weidenheimer

Knowing my good friend Troy—from Ralph Hiesey

Troy Weidenheimer passed away on September 4, 2019. How odd for me to be still

here while Troy is now silent. So hard to imagine for someone who was so alive.

I have lots of memories of the guy in our teens when at high school we got together

because of our shared hobby of ham radio. His call letters were K6JTG. I gave up my

ham license when I was at college, but he was still doing dots and dashes up to the end.

For 58 years after graduating from high school we never saw each other, until two

years ago when with my wife Jane and I visited Troy and his wife Susan at their home in

Palmyra, Virginia near Charlottesville.

I first knew him in the late 50’s. We were good buddies at Cubberley High School in

Palo Alto. I was the goodie two shoes. Troy didn’t fit well into that category. In

chemistry class we sat next to each other. Troy liked to make comments to me or even

more public ones while Mr. Parrish was trying to talk chemistry to the class. I was

actually interested in chemical reactions and stuff like that, and wanted to hear what Mr.

Parrish had to say. But I also was entertained by clever comments Troy might come up

with during class. So mostly I listened to Parrish, but sometimes to Troy, and also

sometimes tried to politely quiet him down. Often a struggle—but Mr. Parrish was

surprisingly tolerant of us whom he rarely reprimanded.

We were also both in Mr. Riddle’s machine shop class. One day Troy and I were

together assigned to the lathe upon which Mr. Riddle was going to give us instruction.

While waiting for Mr. Riddle, who was momentarily with some others in the class, Troy

couldn’t resist pushing the “ON” button, to watch the chuck speed up round and round.

Which it did. So far so good. But then Troy wondered what the “REV” button was all

about. I was perfectly willing to wait for Mr. Riddle’s instructions but Troy could not

hold back. He thought this would make it go faster—let’s REV it up! So he pushed the

button. The heavy round steel chuck spun quickly into reverse, unwinding itself from the

motor, bounced DOONK off the bed of the lathe (not so good) further CLUNK on the

floor, then rolled away! I embarrassed! No, I would not have done this alone. Mr.

Riddle was a very tolerant guy—which isn’t the reaction some shop teachers would have

to such an event.

Troy took lots of art courses in high school, and liked to paint things green. He

seemed focused on green. At his teacher’s suggestion he was trying to wean himself

away to try more of the other colors on his pallet. When I visited him recently in

Virginia I was impressed with how much further his art had developed. He was also

giving art classes in Virginia. I told him his art reminded me of Edward Hopper which I

thought was a compliment, but he wasn’t impressed by that judgment; as I recall told me

he thought Hopper’s style was too downcast. But in Troy’s painting I saw a strong sense

of design that I found appealing in much of Hopper’s painting, although their styles were

sufficiently different that I wouldn’t have difficulty distinguishing their art . You can visit

his web site to see some of his paintings at

After high school, I lost contact with Troy while he was making some waves as a

talented guitarist in the Palo Alto musical scene. Although I didn’t realize at the time,

we both were at Stanford, which I only found out much later when reading about him on

Google. I was a student, but that wasn’t Troy’s pathway there. I found out from some of

the Google references that Troy occasionally played guitar in his band at Stanford frat

parties in the early sixties. He also taught guitar in Palo Alto. Some references on

Google said that he was an important influence on Jerry Garcia’s music. If you put “Troy

Weidenheimer” into Google—you’ll find lots of stuff about him and his pals in the

musical community.

Unfortunately I never heard him play since we weren’t in contact with each other at

that time.

I’m not surprised that no one else but Troy was named Troy Weidenheimer. He was

not easily copied. This makes it easy to find him on Google.

In October 2017 my wife and I visited Troy and his wife Susan at their home in

Palmyra, VA and really enjoyed reconnecting—and seeing his art—and seeing the same

old Troy—but of course I was older too—funny how that goes. I believe it was in late

2017 when he got the bad news that he had cancer. The doctors were not optimistic for

his future. Susan said that his last six months were difficult, and of course a very difficult

time for her too. I can imagine it was difficult, as Troy wasn’t one to give up easily. I

spoke with him by phone only a week ago. Such a loss knowing that we won’t be able

to speak again.