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During the eight or nine hours since it began, over twenty thousand people had passed through the Invisible Circus and there's no telling how many would have finally showed, if it had been permitted to continue. When it was forced to end, the few thousand who remained went out to the Pacific Ocean to herald the dawning of the sun, and to roast pork sausages over a bonfire for breakfast, listening to Michael McClure play his autoharp and sing his song, "Oh, Lord, Won't You Buy Me a Mercedes Benz" with Freewheelin' Frank singing, too, and beating on his tambourine. Even though a dozen reporters spent nearly two hours at the church, not one line was written nor one word spoken about the Invisible Circus in the news media. It had been too incredible to explain, and so it and the fantasies that were realized during its brief existence became personal memories cherished by the people who were there and were part of an event, the likes of which has never been seen again in the city of San Francisco.

The Invisible Circus proved to be a much-needed respite for Emmett who got himself blind-wasted, but was back on the street the next afternoon with Tumble, delivering the Free Food to the throng in the Panhandle. A few Diggers, like one talkative twentyfive-year-old named Tobacco, got it together during the week and hustled rent money for several crash pads. There were three on one block alone and they slept over 120 people a night with only two rules enforced: no needles or sets of works and no weapons allowed. Besides the four or five people who lived at and operated each of these crash pads, there were few others older than eighteen. They were runaways.

The runaway situation had become critical since the Human BeIn, with the kids not only running away from something but running to something. The myth of the Haight-Ashbury had been manufactured to appeal to the young and they were running as fast as they could to it. White middle America was outraged that their children were leaving, and since a runaway has no constitutional rights, and is merely the property of his parents, they demanded their return. The liberal Democratic senator from Connecticut, Abraham Ribicoff, proposed a bill which would have brought the FBI into the search for runaways and further called for a computerized system of federal investigation on behalf of "American motherhood" and its preservation. San Francisco Juvenile Court Judge Ray J. O'Conner became publicly irate and said that all the Digger [end page 286]


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