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That night around twelve or one o'clock, Chairman Fred was in the basement of the thirty-unit slum tenement building where the superintendent was doing his job, saving the landlord a little extra money by letting about three hundred people nearly freeze to death in the dead-of-winter cold of their apartments. One of his Panther brothers knocked on the door of the cellar flat, and when it opened they could see the red-hot, potbellied stove warming the super's place like a piece of toast. The man who opened the door was just standing still, his eyes frozen on the gaping barrel of the enforcer Chairman Fred was holding against his nose. The superintendent was just waiting to obey the orders that Chairman Fred gave him. "Stoke up the boilers, nigger! It's cold outside."
As soon as the people in that building heard and felt the heat steaming up, there was no way for that super or any other superintendent to shut it off for the rest of that winter of '68-'69, and no way those tenants were ever going to quietly acquiesce to the cold during any other winter thereafter. That's how Fred Hampton served the people, and that's why Fred Hampton died for the people. 1 le was a teacher but he only made speeches on weekends.
John Huggins and Bunchy Carter had been shot dead in the lunchroom of U.C.L.A., and the spring was trying to break apart the solid wall of winter when Emmett returned to San Francisco, only to find out too late that he made a mistake in ever leaving Chicago. Everybody in Frisco still had a heavy attitude towards him, and nobody would believe he wasn't still using horse. So he resigned himself to the fact that it was all going to stay that way and even tried pushing it further beyond his reach by hanging as loose and as bad as he could without becoming corny.
He hustled a man he didn't need to hustle out of more than a thousand dollars cash, and a wise man named Pete, who was going to teach Emmett almost more than anyone had about himself, helped him buy a Harley-Davidson '74 and chop it down into a low-slung, extended-front-wheel, quality scooter.
Emmett rode that scooter up and down California's coastline and back and forth to San Francisco no matter what the weather. He came to love that bike of his, like a man could only love his horse. Most times he rode that red fandango along the open road alone with the air burning against his face and pushing him to jack the throttle and weave the bike in and out, between the square, eightcylindered machines bought on time spent in thrall. Sometimes he would ride with a buddy or two, and they would get ripped with [end page 482]