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To the editor:

I cleaned out my locker at the YMCA and as I did, I couldn't help but reflect on the last 20 some odd years that I have been working out at the Y.During that time, management has changed a number of times, programs have come and gone and slowly but surely the physical facilities have deteriorated from neglect and budget difficulties into an impossible maze of leaking pipes and ceilings, heating difficulties and maintenance problems that seemed impossible to resolve.

During the last few months, even the most basic amenities have disappeared. So, regretfully, it probably is time to close down the Y and members and participants in YMCA-sponsored programs can move on to other alternatives.

I don't mourn for the loss of the facility, and I'm confident there are other places where a good workout is available in facilities superior to those that have been offered at the Y. I do, however, deeply regret the loss of association with the many individuals I have known in my years there.

The great diversity that has existed there in individuals, opinions and approaches to life has greatly enriched my own existence. Within talking distance of my locker was an LDS bishop, a Catholic priest, a philosophizing cab driver, several police officers, two weight-lifting attorneys and a great variety of others whose points of view have educated, entertained and inspired me.

The closing of the Y will remove one more forum where people of great diversity and interests could come together on common ground and gain a true appreciation for the point of view of one another. There just don't seem to be enough places where that can happen. It's too bad.

Michael S. Lake

Salt Lake City