San Francisco: Love on Haight

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Led by a pug-nosed Irish-American named Emmett Grogan, 23, The Diggers beg leftovers and handouts from nearby restaurants, butcher shops and groceries, rumble around in a rainbow-painted truck dispensing stew and sympathy. "The whole idea is love," explains Digger Leonard Sussman, 23, who recently quit an insurance job in New Jersey to join the love-Haight mission. "We have a farm in Mendocino given to us by a friend where we'll grow food," he explains, "and other Diggers will go to Chile or Mexico to grow marijuana in the backyard."

Getting Together. Not that The Haight-Ashbury Utopia needs any new source of supply. Narcotics arrests in the district last year more than trebled (from 148 in 1965 to 485 in 1966). A "lid" (22 grams) of marijuana sells for $10 (v. $25 in New York City) and a 100 microgram "tab" of LSD can be had for $4. Some pot peddlers even pass out supermarket-style trading stamps with each purchase. Apart from narcotics arrests, however, the crime rate shows no drastic escalation. During a January "Human Be-In" at Golden Gate Park, 10,000 hippies turned out to sing folk-rock songs, watch a psychedelic parachutist descend from a "high trip," and listen to Hindu prayers by Sometime Guru Allen Ginsberg, who has survived the transition from beat to hip. Even members of Hell's Angels, the roughknuckled, leather-jacketed motorcyclists in Nazi drag, turned up to turn on: some were seen holding lost children or gently shaking tambourines. Not a single fight marred the Be-In, and as the sun went down (to the sullen wail of Ginsberg blowing a conch shell), the forgathered hippies quietly cleared every bit of litter from the park. Officials later said that they had never seen so large a crowd leave so clean a field.

Reaction to the New Utopia among "straight" San Franciscans has been remarkably bland. "They only steal if they're hungry," shrugs one Haight Street grocer. "I'd do the same." One of the district's most sympathetic observers is the Rev. Leon Harris, 60, pastor of The Haight-Ashbury's All Saints' Episcopal Church, whose favorite anecdote concerns a stuffy woman parishioner who came in to complain of the New Utopians. Says Harris: "I told her to take a careful look at the church windows. She gasped when she realized that the saints, too, wore beards and sandals."

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