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One Man's 'Oasis' Is Another's Dusty Field

July 16, 1987

I read with astonishment Ashley Dunn's vision of Johnson Field as an "oasis" (Times, July 5). My perception of the facility is that of a hot, dusty baseball field. Dodger Stadium it's not! Of course, my perception may be colored by having watched the employees of the City of Pasadena working on their own time to build a diamond where only sand, rocks and dust were before.

Work was done after-hours and on weekends by workers from all departments and all levels; clerical, blue-collar, supervisory and management labored to this effort. Pasadena received as a benefit of this project a boost in morale and an increase in camaraderie seldom seen in public employment. Workers who would otherwise never see upper management were working side by side with department heads.

Many employers maintain recreational facilities for their employees. Enlightened employers realize that it is beneficial to the work when employees socialize and play together outside the workplace. When managers and employers are "friends," workers are more productive.

The spirit of cooperation originally generated by this project is maintained by continued competition on the diamond between many of the same people who built the field. The real beneficiaries of Johnson Field are the citizens of Pasadena. It would seem that (Ed) McNevin should try to persuade his employer, Jet Propulsion Laboratories, of the advantages of providing its employees such facilities, instead of acting like Aesop's dog in the manger.

MICHAEL HOWARD

Los Angeles

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