Ron Harsin is a native of Jefferson County,he was born in King’s Daughter’s Hospital here in Madison and has lived in the area for most of his life. He is a 1970 Southwestern High School graduate who attended Purdue University;during which time he studied computer programming,specifically the programming language “Cobalt”,which helped him land a position with IBM. He’s also worked for Motorola,General Motors,TRW,Eli Lilly,Proctor & Gamble,and Ameritech and taught,briefly,at Ivy Tech Community College. He also worked at the never operational,and now entirely defunct,Marble Hill Nuclear power plant where he was employed as a Meterological Weather Stations Engineer and an Environmental Field Technician.
After the plant’s unexpected and somewhat sudden closure (which Ron attributes to poor financial management rather than the oft repeated tale of a poorly constructed concrete conatainment unit),he eventually,due to some insistence from his father,took a position at River Bend Nuclear Generating Station in St.Francisville,Louisiana. While there he served as a Radiation Protection Technician.
Somewhere along the line(during his third year at Purdue) he managed to find time to marry his high school sweetheart Ilene with whom he has two(now grown) children. He and his family moved back to Madison from Louisiana,after which started a retail electronics store on Madison’s hilltop with his brother-in-law Loren Bair. The business was ultimately unsuccessful but it gave Ron a taste of being his own boss,something he would find a way to apply to his life again later.
Of all of his ventures and jobs he may be best known for co-authoring(with hydroplane racing historian Fred Farley) a series of four books covering the long history of hydroplane racing generally and the Indiana Governor’s Cup race as well as the Madison Regatta held annually here along historic Madison’s Ohio River waterfront.
All of this is only the tip of the iceberg that has been the long,and varied,career he’s enjoyed and,in light of all of this,he maintains that he is “just an avereage guy”.
This self proclaimed “average guy” is also a published musician with seven(so far) songs(search his name using Google and his music page pops up) to his name,a hunter and firearms enthusiast,with a particular interest in using muzzle loading,black powder weapons.
Ron says that hunting provides an excuse to get away from the modern world,and enjoy the peacefulness of the forest. He has taken many deer with both a conventional rifle and a black powder model but maintains that a successful ‘hunt’ does not necessarily mean that he comes home with a deer,just the experience of being out in the woods and finding and watching the deer and the other wildlife is often it’s own reward.
These days when Ron isn’t hunting,writing a book,composing a song or enjoying being a grandfather,he’s kept quite busy applying the lessons about being his own boss that he learned all those years ago at his latest occupation as the owner and operator(alongside his wife,Ilene) of the quite successful laser engraving business: Precision Laser Graphics.
By no means is this a full accounting of Mr.Harsin’s history but,it does offer some insight into what many would consider to be the extraordinary life of “just an average guy”.