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all come to San Francisco for a sort of reunion, using the activity surrounding the Human Be-In as their point of convergence. Emmett wanted to meet and speak with all of them and was knocked out when Richard Brautigan told him that the poets felt the same way about the Diggers and wanted to have a poetry reading for them.

The arrangements were quickly made for a reading to be held in Gino and Carlo's bar in the beat section of North Beach. It was advertised by word of mouth, and by a newspaper columnist as a "benefit for the Diggers." So many poets showed up to read that night, and so many people came to listen, that the gathering had to be divided in half between Gino's and another bar, forcing the poets to walk back and forth to each place if they wanted their poetry to be heard by everyone.

The people who made up the audience that night had been reading news stories and had been hearing about the Diggers and "their philanthropic social work" for months, but never anything about where the Diggers got the money to do all those things. So when the word went out that the reading was to be a benefit for the Diggers, they naturally assumed that meant a donation. But it didn't. There was no admission or cover charge or money collected in either bar--it was all free. Allen Ginsberg and Gary Snyder accidentally passed a hat around Gino's for a collection, however, while the Diggers were arranging things at the other location. When Emmett and Coyote arrived, the money had already been collected and the hat was given to them. But, instead of accepting it, the two immediately asked for everyone's attention and announced that there was a mistake. "The only type of benefit that could be thrown for the Diggers is one where everything is free!" Then, they gave the hat to the bartender and told him to count the money out on the bar in front of everybody, and to continue buying rounds for the crowd for as long as the bread held out.

"That's a Digger benefit!" laughed Coyote, and everyone applauded.

And Gary Snyder remarked to Allen Ginsberg, "Did you see that? They gave it all away--back to the people!" The money lasted a long time because there was a lot of it in that hat. "An awful lot of it," Emmett had thought when it was handed to him. It was far into the morning before the sound of poetry turned into conversation, and everyone agreed that a good time was had by all. The only other [end page 278]


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