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Free Food began, had been ball-breaking lonely for Emmett. No one was really into the food but him and the women. In fact, if it hadn't been for those women there wouldn't have been 4 P.M. Free Food in the park everyday or any day. They were the real strength in the Haight-Ashbury community, the real Diggers. Cooking two or three twenty-gallon milk cans full of stew for two hundred people can be a goof, if you do it once a year, but try doing it for two or three days in a row, for two or three weeks, for two or three months. And not get paid--not make any money from it at all. It's a bitch!

The news media began referring to the Diggers as "a sort of hippie philanthropic, do-gooder organization based in the Haight-Ashbury"; as "Mod Monks," and as "a new breed of hip Salvation Army social workers without portfolio." No matter how deep into the streets they delved, they couldn't come up with anyone who would claim responsibility for any of the Digger above-ground activities. Emmett was enormously popular on the streets and because of this, and because he continued to shun publicity, giving the press the goby, the HIP class regarded him with a certain apprehension and dislike. He didn't care. He knew what he was doing and he just didn't care. However, the growing spotlight scene annoyed Billy Landout who split for the East Coast to see if he could rustle up anything in New York. Everyone, including Coyote and the Hun, thought Bill was an innocent, holy, little guy, but Emmett knew better. He knew him when he was a tough kid on the streets of Brooklyn, and he hadn't changed. The toughness was still there, he was just very quiet about it. William Everard seemed to have been the same way. He also pulled the same kind of a fade back in the seventeenth century, leaving the historians puzzled as to what kind of a man he had been and what type of a role he played within that Digger movement. It's doubtful Billy Landout had the same sense of history, he simply wanted to have a chocolate egg-cream at the Gem Spa candy store on the Lower East Side, that's all. After he had gone, the Hun started a rumor that Billy had left because the city of San Francisco wasn't big enough for both Emmett and him. Emmett only heard that dumb gossip weeks later, after he had just spoken with Billy long distance, and it was too late to do anything about it. It was a pretty cheap shot to take at someone, Emmett thought. "But what the fuck! Some people are just small that way," and he forgot about it.

A public health eviction notice was slapped on the Page Street Free Frame because several people were crashing there. But an em [end page 264]


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