Norman Hardy was born and raised in Fresno, California, graduating from the same high school his mother had graduated from. He went to the University of California, Berkeley, earning a BS degree in Chemistry in 1968. After graduation, he entered the US Navy, becoming a commissioned officer and pilot, 1968-1972.
Upon return to civilian life, he spent a career in high tech manufacturing, working for several companies including Honeywell, Litton and others. Primarily an engineer, but in more than one field, he also held various supervisory and management positions including two years as president of a small company. Except for 8 years in Santa Barbara, all of that took place in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He retired from full time work in 2011, while still occasionally taking part time assignments when asked to do so, but in 2016 relocated to Lompoc, California and is now more thoroughly retired.
His personal interests and activities over the years included golf, duplicate bridge, chess, numismatics, ballroom dancing, pyrotechnics, puzzles, volunteer work (especially for PBS) and, of course, music. While growing up, he studied both piano and violin, and played violin in school orchestras through high school, as well as two years with the Fresno Jr Philharmonic youth orchestra. In later years he also learned to play recorders, and a modest level of folk guitar.
But piano was his main personal playing interest, which ultimately led to acquiring the Baldwin concert grand in Santa Barbara in 1981. It was, of course, meant for a concert hall and was always total overkill for a living room, but a wonderful instrument to play and/or listen to. However, a few senior infirmities have significantly reduced playing ability and he decided to pass that piano on to the Santa Maria Philharmonic for the use and enjoyment of the community.