Many people know me as the Digger archivist. I have the website, Digger Archives (www.diggers.org), which has been up and running since 1992. Lots of folks have used the primary source materials that are archived there to inspire and get inspired by the fascinating social revolutionaries who took the name of the 17th century Diggers to carry out a program of autonomous collective actions in the Haight-Ashbury starting in 1966. Many people have read the rip-roaring account in the 400-page book Ringolevio by Emmett Grogan, one of the two people who started publishing street manifestos and soon began a series of programs all without charge, including Free Feeds in the Panhandle, the first Free Stores ever, the Free Bakery at All Saints Church, the Free Medical Clinic, the Free City Bank, etc. The name Emmett Grogan became widely known, even to the point that some people doubted such a person existed. What was not widely known was the name of the other person responsible for founding the Diggers. In the Digger Papers, Emmett called him Billy Landout. He was known as Billy Digger to many. Eventually, his true identity became known. Billy Murcott was as elusive as Emmett Grogan was recognizable. Billy never grabbed the limelight. To this day, he tries to maintain the anonymity that the Diggers initially espoused. It was the idea of his friends to set up this GoFundMe page.
In mid-December, 2022, Billy had a stroke that put him in the hospital for two weeks. He’s back home now (on the same Brooklyn street where he and Emmett grew up as childhood friends). He is in rehab and is doing well. All his friends have finally been able to breathe a sigh of relief. What we want to do now is help Bill with his medical bills. Bill never made a cent on his stake to fame as the co-founder of the San Francisco Diggers. He drove a cab until his early 80s when Covid made it impossible. His financial situation is, like so many octogenarians, not prosperous. Please help if you can. Thanks.