Dear John,

Thanks for your postcard. Glad to know things are going so well for you. We wish we could say the same, but down here on The River, we’ve got a real problem. And many of us think you, John, are responsible.

John, we all remember when you came down to The River. You were in pretty rough shape, always talking about a job in The City you had just left where you worked seemingly around the clock for someone you cryptically referred to as “The Man,” and you called that a good job. You also mentioned a dishwashing job and a position in what you called a “pain-pumping station.” We weren’t sure if you were mentally ill, high on drugs, or having a nervous breakdown, but we got you cleaned up, gave you some food, and sent you on your way. It was just the right thing to do. That was several years ago. But the hobos and hippies have been pouring in ever since, wanting handouts, and we think it’s due to your indiscretion.

Every day brings new vanloads of people showing up to The River, waiting to be taken care of, as if The River were some sort of free resort vacation wonderland. They wander into town saying, “Hey, I have no money, uh … what are you gonna give me?” And we ask them where they got the idea that we’d give them anything, and they say, “John Fogerty.” It’s awkward and burdensome. There were at least a hundred of them last week alone.

We must insist that you stop telling everyone in the world that we’re happy to give. We’re not, John. And please pass this message on to Tina Turner if you see her.

The People
The River


Dear Mr. Fogerty,

Thanks for your letter. The National Weather Service is happy to attempt to answer your questions.

To begin with, no one will stop the rain. Though attempts by humans to control the weather date back as far as civilization itself, it’s simply not possible. You say that the rain has been coming down as long as you remember. Well, yes. Of course. It’s rain. As long as anyone can remember, it’s been coming down somewhere. Earth depends on it. Please see the enclosed pamphlet that describes our planet’s water cycle. We recommend you read it over because, if your questions are really as simple as they seem, you could probably benefit from some remedial science education.

As to your second question, yes, we have seen the rain coming down on a sunny day. It’s lovely, isn’t it? If you look closely, you might even see some rainbows.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us again in the future if we can be of further assistance.


David Easterman
Office of Public Relations
National Weather Service


Dear Mr. Fogerty,

Thanks again for your latest inquiry, and please accept my apologies for not getting back to you on your last several letters, phone calls, e-mails, and telegrams. I had thought this issue had been cleared up already but, judging by the volume of your inquiries, it has evidently not been.

Our position is unchanged: under no conditions will we allow you to play center field. Setting aside the fact that Bernie Williams and Kenny Lofton are performing quite well in that capacity, and that we have several talented prospects in our minor-league organization, the idea of a fifty-nine-year-old man with no demonstrable baseball experience playing center field for the Yankees is ludicrous. I’ve told you this in several previous replies. I wish you’d believe me.

Major-league-caliber players are, uniformly, incredibly talented athletes who have dedicated their lives to the game. They spend years working their way up through the system. They don’t just ask “the coach” to “put them in.” Another thing: I’m not a coach. I’m a manager. If you knew anything about baseball, you’d know that.

As to your arguments, I remain unconvinced. You claim to have “spent some time in the Mudville Nine,” but while we all enjoyed that poem, there is no such team. So you’re lying, Mr. Fogerty. And while you are clearly excited about your beat-up glove, homemade bat, and brand-new pair of shoes (thanks for the many photos), such acquisitions in no way qualify one to play center field for the Yankees. The team provides state-of-the-art equipment to all our players. Again, any understanding of pro baseball, or even simple logic, would have told you that.

I hope we can now put this issue to rest. I’ve included a Derek Jeter key chain as a token of goodwill.

Joe Torre
New York Yankees