Sections Above and Below This Page:

he would have to leave and return to the West Coast with the women and the Hun--who were also meeting with the different Lower East Side factions, trying to turn them on to consolidating their energies for the solution to some of the more important community problems.

Emmett didn't tell anyone about the plot the handful of East Village hipster marketeers had made against him. He only implied to his San Francisco comrades that his presence in the neighborhood wasn't particularly welcomed by those who used the area as a marketplace for their own benefit. He could have revealed the story of the plot to the mass media and thereby the people, but he felt that they probably wouldn't have believed it unless his contact also came forward to corroborate his testimony, and that was more than unlikely. He also couldn't figure what real good it would serve to bring it out into the open. For a man who was alone like Emmett to give something of himself away to the press, he had to be damned sure he was going to get something for it. So he decided to keep it quietly private between him and the hip marketeers, only letting them know that he knew about their pipe laying against him.

The East Village market operators, however, didn't react to his knowledge of their plotting as quietly as he had, and they set a campaign in motion to discredit his work in the community, knowing full well that any statements he might make about their conspiring against him would quickly sound like the paranoid ranting of a man looking desperately for a way to save face. This public campaign to discredit Emmett and his work was made necessary because of an article by Richard Goldstein that had just appeared in the Village Voice, the Greenwich Village radical-liberal weekly founded in the fifties by Norman Mailer, among others. This article successfully made Emmett seem the center of a personality cult by labeling the Diggers "Grogan's people."

Emmett had bumped into Goldstein over a month before in the Clayton Street house where the Free Food was prepared for the Panhandle, and he thought he was just another young kid who'd run away from home, because he was only a little more than five feet tall and had a neat, blond, childlike appearance. When Goldstein identified himself as a reporter for the Voice, Emmett at first figured he was jiving, but told him that if he was a reporter, he was wasting his time around the Clayton Street place, because there wasn't anyone there who was going to talk to him. Then he left to go make his daily rounds with the truck. Goldstein stayed, however, and some [end page 352]


Creative Commons License
The Digger Archives is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Cite As: The Digger Archives ( / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0