SIS-BOOM-BAH! FOR AMALGAMATED SPONGE

American corporations, imbued with the happy thought that employees who play together stay together, are providing workers with everything from checker contests to country clubs and are making industrial recreation a billion-dollar business
January 25, 1965

If you work for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit you can join a yacht club or a slingshot team. Employees of Texas Instruments have a 50-acre rod-and-gun club and 60 acres of lakefront for boating and fishing. North American Aviation workers put on horseback-riding exhibitions. Tennessee Eastman's hiking club maintains 112 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and General Dynamics has an astronomy association. Flick-Reedy, a Bensenville, Ill. manufacturer of hydraulic and air cylinders, employs only 500 people, but all 500 are within a long cylinder length of a heated indoor swimming pool.

These phenomena do not prove that dire Marxist predictions are coming true and that capitalism is going soft in spirit or in the head. Rather, they signify that the so-called captains of American industry are among the world's strongest subscribers to the adage, "All work and no play make Jack a dull boy." (Also industrial tycoons suspect that work without play may make Jack a malingering, absentee, job-switching boy who will not love old Amalgamated Sponge Incorporated as much as Amspo Inc. feels it should be loved.)

This attitude has made American industry the world's greatest patron of fun and games. Currently, about $1.5 billion a year is being spent on employee recreation. Some 125 golf courses are owned by industrial concerns, and industrial sponsors are probably the biggest users of bowling lanes, ping-pong tables and Chinese-checker boards in the universe. Industry buys more sport gear than all U.S. schools and colleges put together—at least, so say the representatives of sporting-goods manufacturers, who are very, very high on industrial recreation.

American corporations got into the business of recreation about a century ago, when the first big intra-industry baseball game was played by the teams of two New York insurance companies. (The Equitable Lifers nosed out the Metropolitans 42-18.) The idea caught on, and by 1913 more than half the companies studied in a Department of Labor survey had some sort of games for employees.

Between the two world wars industrial recreation had a tendency to go big time. This was the heyday of what industrial-recreation directors now refer to a little contemptuously as "varsity sports." Many companies, as a method of advertising their products as well as entertaining their employees, recruited top-flight athletes to play in what amounted to professional industrial leagues. In the '20s and '30s a tramp athlete could make a good thing out of industrial competition. Varsity industrial players were given cushy jobs (assistant timekeeper was a favorite sinecure), time off for practice and travel and, occasionally, room and board. The industrial leagues were fast ones. Baseball teams often had a pitcher or slugger just passing through on his way to or from the majors. Both the Chicago Bears (A. E. Staley Manufacturing Company) and Green Bay Packers (Acme Packing Company) evolved from tough industrial football leagues.

There are still today some strong industrial basketball teams. Occasionally the sponsoring company is able to offer "job benefits" that lure a hot collegiate prospect away from the NBA, and some of the teams, notably the Goodyear Wingfoots and the Phillips 66ers, have contributed players to the U.S. Olympic squad. Another curious sponsor of varsity sports has been the FBI, not exactly an industry but still an employer. For years an FBI baseball team composed of hotshot college players on summer vacation mopped up amateur opposition around Washington, D.C. While these summer G-men might have had trouble distinguishing Frankie Carbo from Bernard Baruch, they could steal a mean base.

With a few exceptions, however, varsity sports are now a negligible factor in industrial recreation. Television robbed big-time plant football and baseball teams of their spectators until the expense of maintaining teams as legitimate employee entertainment devices could no longer be justified. In addition, the large corporations that are now the chief supporters of industrial recreation have very little to gain from using varsity teams as an advertising medium. Presumably the old Acme Packers may have helped push some Acme knockwurst, but even with Bo Belinsky pitching for them an IBM baseball team could hardly be expected to sell a 1401 computer. Finally, personnel men, recreation directors and industrial psychologists came to the conclusion (long before it seems to have occurred to their counterparts in, say, universities) that a participant gets a lot more of value, or what industry regards as value, out of a game than a spectator does. Thus participation has become the end-all of industrial sports programs, while crowd appeal, athletic excellence and expertise are definitely of secondary interest to management.

Illustrative of this attitude is the evolution of recreation at Lockheed Aircraft Corporation in Burbank, Calif. At one time a major feature of the Lockheed program was the Lockheed Flyers, a good varsity-type basketball team made up principally of stars who had graduated from UCLA and USC. The Flyers were disbanded 15 years ago, to the apparent regret of no one except the players.

"It was not a hard decision to make," says Frank Davis, Lockheed's recreation manager and the current president of the National Industrial Recreation Association. "The Flyers did not attract crowds, and for what it cost to sponsor the team we can now run an entire employee basketball league. If our people want to see good basketball we can get them tickets to the Lakers' games, just as we can for golf tournaments, art shows, concerts, Disneyland and the like, at less than box-office prices."

None of the teams in the current Lockheed basketball league would give the old Flyers much of a game. Once in a while an ex-collegian or a graduate of an upper-bracket military ball club shows up, but for the most part the caliber of play is equivalent to that of a good church league. The only spectators are a handful of girl friends, wives and children who cheer on their heroes and after the games join them for dinner at the neighborhood pizza parlor.

Everyone, particularly Davis, who represents management's view of recreation at Lockheed, seems satisfied with this state of affairs. "We would rather have 10 wives and 20 children watching a game than a thousand strangers," says Davis, who has something of the fatherly, homiletic manner of an Iowa (whence he came) high school principal. "Recreation is one of the means by which we try to build a Lockheed community, to establish ties that enable Lockheedians to work and live together more pleasurably."

This view, that the end of recreation is to create peace of mind rather than a bulging biceps or a scrapbook of press clippings, is common throughout industry, and Lockheed is a good example of how big business implements this philosophy. Lockheed, with some 75,000 employees, operates through several semiautonomous divisions. The oldest of these, Lockheed-California, has plants in and around Burbank. The recreation program there has more or less served as a model for those set up in newer Lockheed installations.

The organization of the Lockheed recreation program bears an overwhelming resemblance to that of a high school student council. The 22,000 employees of Lockheed-California are divided up into about 50 districts, from each of which is elected one representative to the council of the Lockheed Employee Recreation Club (LERC). This council, at least in a de jure sense, has final authority as to what kind of and how much recreation Lockheed will have. The elected LERC council approves the club's $200,000-a-year budget, two-thirds of which is derived from the profits of vending machines scattered through the sprawling factories. The council maintains and adds to the club-owned recreational facilities, passes along recreation suggestions from the employees and occasionally arbitrates beefs. LERC, not Lockheed, also pays the salaries of Davis and his staff of six. Davis functions more as a faculty adviser to LERC than as an employee of it, however. Everyone realizes that Davis is the liaison man between the recreation club and the Lockheed management, without whose approval there would obviously be neither club nor recreation. The LERC council, Davis and his staff operate from a 17-room clubhouse which, if Lockheed is a community, certainly functions as the civic center. No overall participation figures are kept, but a good guess is that somewhere between 50% and 75% of the 22,000 Lockheedians get involved in at least some of the fun scheduled from the clubhouse.

The athletic portion of the LERC program might be called industrial traditional. Bowling, golf, softball, basketball and tennis are the "organized" sports played after working hours (there are about 120 bowling teams and seven golf leagues). Additionally, LERC picks up the tab for a lot of recreation equipment that is used informally at the plant during lunch hours and work breaks. There are softball diamonds, lawn bowls and a putting green in the five-acre park in which the clubhouse stands. Volleyball, horseshoe and shuffleboard facilities are sprinkled liberally throughout the manufacturing area. During a year Davis and his staff distribute 11,000 decks of playing cards and a ton or so of checkers, chess and Scrabble sets. The recreation club has also set up 150 ping-pong tables in the various shops, and Lockheedians use them for about 400,000 games a year. (Ping-pong is the game among the play-at-work set. Folding tables can be put up in most production areas, and a surprising amount of boredom and tension can be worked off while whaling away at a celluloid ball for 10 minutes.)

For doing well in these various table and field events, Lockheedians are awarded some 400 trophies a year. To an outsider this may seem like a considerable amount of fancy hardware, but it actually indicates that Lockheed, as compared to other industrial sponsors, has a fairly low-pressure approach to trophies. Industry as a whole is big, big, big on trophies, probably because, lacking crowds or publicity, these baubles are the only tangible sort of recognition an industrial sportsman can get. A more typically trophy-happy firm would be IBM, where imposing awards are given for virtually every known game. The annual Trophy Dinner was long a soiree dear to the hearts of the IBM hierarchy, and the tradition continues to this day. At Trophy Dinners in branch computer shops all over the world, tons of brilliantly plated loving cups are turned over to sporting IBMers. A few years back, TV Sports Announcer Jim Simpson, fresh from covering the Melbourne Olympics, was the guest speaker at the Trophy Dinner of a Washington, D.C. IBM plant. Simpson watched and applauded politely as towering statues were handed out to winners in more or less hard sports like horseshoes and table tennis. But when a girl stepped up to claim a trophy emblematic of a second-place finish in the ladies' Chinese-checkers tournament, Simpson broke down. "My God," the shocked sportscaster gasped to his neighbor, "they only gave Herb Elliott a lousy gold medal."

In addition to being fairly subdued in the matter of trophies. Lockheed has made a relatively modest investment in large scale athletic facilities. Except for two soft-ball diamonds at LERC clubhouse park, most of the games are played at municipally owned fields and gyms, facilities which, Lockheed management willingly points out, Lockheed taxes have helped pay for. This is small potatoes—not Lockheed taxes, but owning just two soft-ball diamonds—in comparison to what some companies provide. IBM has full-scale country clubs, golf courses, softball diamonds, bowling alleys and tennis courts where IBMers fight it out for their trophies. Eastman Kodak has a multimillion-dollar recreation center in Rochester, N.Y., sort of a gigantic rumpus room that will accommodate 7,000 Kodakers at the same leisure time. Where public facilities are not available or are inadequate, corporations also are building their own parks. Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. has turned over a 366-acre park to its 11,000 employees in the St. Paul area. Among many other things, this 3M glade has a golf course, boatbuilding shed, ski run, field-archery range, skating rink, bridle trails, tenting areas and park rangers—the whole ball of leisure wax.

While Lockheed's athletic program probably rates no better than average when compared to those of similarly affluent and populous corporations, its club system—a complex of hobbyists, do-it-yourselfers and arts-and-crafters—is the pride and joy of Frank Davis and the LERC council. "Clubs, more than sports, draw the whole family into the Lockheed community," says Davis. "In the clubs mother and the children get to know Lockheed." Some 30 of these clubs with specialties ranging from scuba diving to Bible studies, boast a membership of 2,000 Lockheedians and their families. Special facilities and equipment are provided as the clubs need them. Five tons of ice are hauled in each fall for ski classes. The model railroaders are allotted a 20-by-30 room in the clubhouse where they have set up and are forever playing with toy railroad systems. The photo club has a professionally equipped darkroom, the rifle club an indoor range, the pilots a Link Trainer, the ham operators a radio station and the rock hounds a shop where they can saw and polish.

Throughout industry, the annual plant picnic and the annual Christmas party are the gala social productions of the recreation department. These peculiarly American occasions resemble political rallies planned by a Boy Scout leader. Thin-lipped personnel men laugh heartily as they splash around in the mustard with union stewards; paunchy executives play two innings of slow-pitch softball and then rush off to recuperate at their country clubs; the president kisses babies belonging to graveyard-shift workers and delivers a speech prepared by the PR boys about the glorious future awaiting those who continue to love grand old Amalgamated Sponge.

While the Lockheed Employee Recreation Club tries hard to retain these touches of Americana, the sheer quantity of Lockheedians alters the quality of the folksy image to the point where these industrial social events would touch a sardonic chord in an Aldous Huxley or Evelyn Waugh. The Lockheed Christmas party, for example, is held in the Bur-bank Civic Auditorium, and in the course of the day 11,000 toys are handed over to little Lockheedians. At one time all presents were doled out by Santa. But even with Santas working in relay teams, the line of waiting children sometimes stretched for two blocks. A few years back the traffic problem was solved by a recreational efficiency expert. Now there are signs directing Lockheed dependents to one of two lines—the traditional Santa queue or a fast, sans-Santa one.

"It was good thinking," explains Mike Varanese, the Lockheed recreation director (a director is less than manager in industrialese; Varanese is Davis' assistant). "You take some wise kid, 8 or 9 years old. He don't believe in Santa anymore. Those little babies the mothers are carrying, they don't believe in anything yet. There's no percentage in running those kinds past Santa. It's wasted on them."

Ever since Sigmund Freud began to stew about what Oedipus did to Laius, paternalism has been a dirty word. Large corporations are particularly sensitive on this score, since social critics have so often leveled the charge at them. Lockheed is no exception, and Lockheed officials react sharply to any implication that the company plays Big Daddy to the recreation program. "This is definitely not a paternalistic company," asserts Mark Clevenger, the editor of the plant house organ. "We just don't like unnecessary friction." "The employees run their own recreation program," chips in Carroll Pettefer, Lockheed labor relations manager. "If you have recess and then tell people what they can do when school's out, it isn't recess, just more school."

In general, the Lockheed defense stands up. There is no pressure—as there still is in some companies—for Lockheedians to play, win trophies, attend uplifting functions and be everlastingly grateful for the opportunity to do so. Nevertheless, when grown men, like those of the recreation staff, spend their days giving out toys, arranging games and helping with hobbies, the family analogy comes strongly to mind—the Utopian, gargantuan family of a rich widower, where all is sweetness-and-light fellowship. Frank Davis is the wise, genial father, sometimes involved with the larger world of Lockheed management and the National Industrial Recreation Association but whose heart is always in the job of keeping the Lockheed family happy and amused. Nor is there the slightest indication that employees anywhere are resentful of all this. If the corporation wants them to be a big happy family, working together and playing together, then a big happy family they are jolly well willing to be.

"Look at this," says Davis, displaying a cable from 14 Lockheedians working on special assignment in Bonn, Germany. The group wanted help in staging a Christmas party for their 23 children. "It's not the $50 we send them—not one of those people earns less than $10,000 a year. They just want to be remembered, to be part of the Lockheed community. It's impressive, isn't it?"

If Davis plays father to 22,000 Lockheedians, two other LERC staffers can easily be cast in the roles of clever, infinitely patient older brothers. Tom Forrester, who runs the athletic program, has all the bats, balls, rackets, rule books and schedules any family could want. Kenny Prince, the club man, can do anything for the Lockheed hobbyists from prescribing a tonic for the aquarium club's sick swordtails to finding a boat mold for the sport fishermen.

The fourth regular member of the LERC staff, Varanese, is a man apparently born to be a recreation director and one for whom the job would have had to be invented if it did not exist. A big, Wallace Beery-faced fellow, Varanese grew up in Cleveland's tough Little Italy section. He looks and occasionally talks as if he might be a Cosa Nostra enforcer, but what he is at Lockheed is everyone's favorite uncle. Technically, Varanese's job is special events (getting a planeload of vacationing Lockheedians off for Europe each spring) and general troubleshooting (persuading two ex-collegians not to play on the same team, which would upset the delicate balance of power in the employee basketball league), but his real vocation is remembering the first name of what seems to be every Lockheedian, greenkeeper, bowling-alley operator and sports promoter between San Jose and La Jolla. Varanese is very much his own pungent man, but he speaks for a Dutch-uncle school of psychology which is part of the creed of the industrial recreation man. Illustrative Big Mikisms include:

"Everybody who wants to play gets to play, that's my motto. Like bowling, sometimes we get some little guy signed up that nobody wants on a team. He carries maybe a 125. He's a griper, an oddball. But I say it is not our job to judge. Our job is to get that oddball on a bowling team, and we do. We can always talk somebody into taking him, at least for one season."

"Free tickets? I sure can use them, but not for me. If Mike Varanese wants to go to Disneyland, he pays his way. But send them up here. We'll pass them out."

"We get some hotheads every now and then. Everybody gets their problems sometimes. I always tell them, 'You come in and talk to me and I promise you one thing.' They say, 'What?' sort of suspicious, and I say, 'You won't go away mad.'"

"All those wise guys have theories about how you get along with women. There is no big secret. Treat every gal, no matter what she is, like she is the world's greatest lady. They like that."

"This job is a lot PR. I mean it is people, true? I wouldn't get to first base except all over this shop there's plenty who think that Mike Varanese is a right guy."

Taken cold, it sounds corny, a little self-conscious, as if Varanese had spent too much time with paperback how-to-win-friends manuals, but it proves to be no less than the truth. Moving around Lockheed from the Union Hall to the hush of Mahogany Row with Varanese is like making progress through a Democratic Convention with Jim Farley. The Lockheedians cluster about and invariably let it be known that Big Mike Varanese is just what he claims to be—one right guy.

What it costs and who pays for right guys like Varanese to circulate through factories passing out ping-pong balls and complimentary tickets is not considered to be a polite question in the euphoric Many Man's Family of industrial recreation. Executives who are not shy about announcing corporate contributions to charity, education and community service drives tend to speak softly or not at all about the cost of employee recreation.

"Stockholders," says one management man in off-the-record tones, "are inclined to get restive when they see half a million or so being spent on what seems to them to be mostly horseshoes and bowling."

Employees, on occasion, can also be critical of ostentatious recreation expenditures. "Some companies have tried to equate a big picnic with a 10¢-an-hour raise," says Tom McNett, two-term president of the International Association of Machinists, Local 727, whose 15,000 members make it Lockheed's biggest union. "And there have been cases where a softball league or something would be scheduled on top of a union meeting. But none of this holds true for Lockheed," the union boss adds emphatically. "The union is not 100% behind LERC recreation, it's 1,000%." McNett's actions bear out his rhetoric. He himself is a veteran Santa Claus at LERC's Christmas festivities.

Another consequential group that recently looked somewhat askance at industrial recreation was the United States Congress. In July 1964 a House Armed Services subcommittee heard witnesses regarding the practice of industrial firms, working on cost-plus contracts, to charge off recreation and entertainment expenses to the Government. Such charges are permitted if they are "reasonable" and considered necessary for employee morale. However, the burden of the testimony of U.S. Comptroller General Joseph Campbell before the subcommittee was that there was no reasonable justification for some of the charges. Included among bills that the Government had been asked to pay, said Campbell, were those for a $12,000 crab feast given by Martin Co. of Denver for its employees and a $35,000 "outing" of Ling-Temco-Vought, Inc. of Dallas. A "substantial amount" of a $197,000 IBM expenditure helped defray the operation of three country clubs, testified Campbell, and Aerojet-General Corp. put the bite on Uncle Sugar for $101,000 to take its employees and their families to Disneyland (Aerojet, after a flurry of publicity, withdrew the claim for payment). Campbell also raised a disapproving eyebrow at the supposedly nonprofit, employee-run welfare and recreation organization of North American Aviation, Inc. The group got $1.3 million from vending machine profits in 1962 but spent only $546,000 and had on hand assets of $750,000 in cash and Government securities plus property valued at more than $3 million, said Campbell.

As Congressman Porter Hardy Jr., a Virginia Democrat heading the subcommittee, commented succinctly at one germane point: "It seems to me the whole thing is a little bit cockeyed."

Because of all the delicate financial, legal and public-relations issues that can arise, only about 10% of the companies in the National Industrial Recreation Association finance their programs directly through regular budget allotments. By far the most popular method is that used by Lockheed, whereby profits from vending machines in the plant are used for recreation. "The machines are only there for the convenience of employees," says Pettefer, the Lockheed labor relations man. "We're in the aerospace business. We're not trying to make money off peanut-butter crackers and soda pop. Employee recreation is a logical place to put money the employees have put into vending machines."

Also like Lockheed, for legal as well as psychological reasons many companies have set up employee clubs, associations or councils as nonprofit corporations with at least theoretical authority to disburse the recreation funds. Few companies, however, go to such lengths as Lockheed does in insisting on the parliamentary freedom of the employee organization. In many other firms management representatives openly sit on the governing boards, where everyone is equal but some are more equal than others. At Lockheed all employees are automatically members of the recreation club, but at most other firms employees pay a token fee, a dollar or so a year, to join the recreation group. This fee supplements the budget allotment or vending-machine take and also seems to serve a psychological purpose.

"If you pay for something, be it recreation or anything else, you're more apt to use it," says Don Neer, the executive director of the National Industrial Recreation Association. "The money is peanuts compared to what a big company spends, but we recommend that dues be collected."

Participation, vending machines and congressional committees aside, the $64 question, or more accurately the $1.5 billion question, is: Why do corporations shell out hard money so that employees can play games? Does it pay off for industry itself? Neer's NIRA, which is essentially a union of industrial recreation workers, has an obvious stake in answering in the affirmative. The NIRA line is that the present outlay is money well spent, that in the future industry should spend more for fun—and as a byproduct hire more recreation directors.

To justify these beliefs the NIRA has sponsored various psychostatistical surveys aimed at isolating the cosmic truths (cosmic enough, that is, to satisfy stockholders) of industrial recreation. One of the most ambitious of these research projects was conducted by the Industrial Relations Center of the University of Minnesota. Much of the lengthy report, entitled Does Industrial Recreation Pay? was devoted to the kind of thing dear to the hearts of all inquiring sociologists, i.e., burial of the obvious under mounds of statistics. By way of example, in this survey a formidable mathematical chart was said to prove that "as the distance between employees' homes and the plant increases, participation decreases."

When it came to what might be considered the gut issues—does recreation cut down absenteeism, accidents, complaints?—the survey was less outspoken. It leaned heavily on the "yes, but perhaps no, and then on the other hand" approach. What it boiled down to was that while an employee who plays soft-ball may be less likely to be absent or malinger, it is impossible to be sure of it without additional surveys.

One truth that is self-evident is that if corporate executives, union officers and employee clubs had waited to get a statistical O.K. from the social scientists, there would be precious little ping-pong played in industry today. Practically, because of what they spend, and rhetorically, according to testimonials that appear regularly in Recreation Management, the journal of the NIRA, managements have clearly bought the idea that industrial recreation is good and is bound to get gooder. As examples:

•"If, through industrial recreation programs, we can attract our people's minds and their hands to interests outside their particular vocations, then we'll have made a valuable contribution to their lives."—Murray D. Lincoln, President, Nationwide Insurance Companies.

•"Recreation obviously promotes physical and mental health by providing a change of pace from routine jobs, noise, tension and fatigue."—Robert G. Dun-lop, Director and President, Sun Oil.

•"Planned industrial recreation is beyond doubt a potent contribution to plant morale and is reflected in more and better production."—John B. Clark, Director of Industrial Relations, Northrop Corporation.

All of these pieties have a similar ring, as well they should, for they all reflect a centuries-old Anglo-Saxon article of faith: a man who plays games is a right guy.

Throughout industry the current style is to support and defend industrial recreation for what might be called the spiritual and mental health value of the thing. However, Don Neer, as resident metaphysician of the NIRA, believes this may change. "I look for more emphasis on physical fitness, particularly at the executive level," predicts Neer. He cites such firms as General Dynamics/Fort Worth, Gates Rubber Co. of Denver and Allen-Bradley Co. of Milwaukee, all of which have built gymnasiums, calisthenic areas and weight-lifting rooms as well as expanded their fitness programs. (Just to keep things in perspective, there is the Lockheed experience. Last year employees were circularized regarding their interest in a physical fitness program. Six out of 22,000 were interested.)

"It could well be in five years that some sort of daily physical workout will be as much a part of executive life as the business luncheon," continues Neer. "Let's face it, executives who suffer from obesity, excessive fatigue and tension are potential coronaries because of lack of physical conditioning. They are as much a concern to their corporation as if they were alcoholics."

Neer also believes that there may be a swing toward more and better athletic competition between plants. "Not necessarily varsity sports as in the old days, but something like the nonscholarship competition that some colleges are turning to now. Maybe we have gone a little too low-pressure. You can't expect to divorce sports from competition. Interplant leagues are a natural, and they stimulate participation."

As an example of what he believes may be the look of the future in industrial athletics, Neer mentions industrial recreation leagues in Milwaukee that are supported by 96 companies and are offering interindustry competition in 16 sports. The NIRA itself is now sponsoring national tournaments for golfers, archers and bowlers as well as competition in such nonathletic pastimes as bridge, hunting and fishing. One of the goals of the organization is to promote an "Industrial Olympics."

The Olympics, industrial and otherwise, are much on the NIRA's collective mind at the moment. Prior to the 1964 Games in Tokyo a small grant was made to study how industrial facilities could be used to develop athletes of international competitive caliber. "Except for a few basketball players, there have been too few good industrial athletes, when you consider that industry sponsors the nation's biggest recreation program," analyzes Neer. "Some events, such as canoeing, volleyball, gymnastics and weight lifting, are not popular in colleges but are ideal for industry. We have facilities for employees and for junior development programs. With proper organization, industrial sports programs could produce competitors who would strengthen the United States in many sports.

"Everybody is big on international competition now," says Neer, who envisions a time when corporations may turn out kayakers as well as computers. "The PR pitch won't be to sell products, like it was in the old days. It will be a sort of community-service gesture—the image. If there is interest in getting a gold medal in kayaking, then the company that helps one of our paddlers is going to look good."

It may be, as Don Neer predicts, that some day a brawny key-punch operator who has practiced long hours in a corporate-owned kayak on a corporate-built lake may go out and beat a Russian for old Amalgamated Sponge. Even if this should come to pass, however, the chances are that his gold medal still will be dwarfed, not only in size but, as far as industry is concerned, in symbolic importance, by a cup now owned by Trudy Tucker, a middle-aged member of the Lockheed Employee Recreation Club. The highlight of Mrs. Tucker's competitive career came when she was awarded a trophy for the biggest smallmouth bass caught by a Lockheedian that season. "I'm not really the athletic type," disclaims Mrs. Tucker. "Getting a trophy—that is the most."

"That is what industrial recreation is all about," explains Frank Davis, Lockheed's man behind 400 trophies. "It makes people happy. We get along better that way."

THREE ILLUSTRATIONS

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)