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That Runaway Prius, and the Homies' Guardian Angel, Greg Boyle

The knots in my belly were fighting with the butterflies as CHP officer Todd Niebert gave me a blow-by-blow account of the harrowing, out-of-control Prius ride on a San Diego County freeway the day before.

Niebert was the officer who took the 911 call when James Sikes' Prius took off on its own, at speeds up to 90 miles an hour, on eastbound Interstate 8. Niebert drove alongside him, shouting suggestions from his patrol car, all of which Sikes tried to no avail, until he ended up virtually standing on the brake pedal and the emergency brake pedal at the same time.

Toyota and the feds are still looking into why all this is happening, but basically, as I understand it, it comes down to either a mechanical problem or an electronic/software problem. I was happy to hear from so many of you about how your own Toyotas had acted up -- or maybe they hadn't acted up. Just because we're off the air for the day doesn't mean we're out of the game; I want to know your stories, and your questions -- some of you were skeptical that all these Toyota problems are anything but driver error. Go tell it on the Patt Morrison page at

And by all means, if you missed that interview, at the top of the program, with the CHP officer, go give it a listen!

Tuesday was the day that Gregory Boyle's book came out. ''Father Greg'' -- G or G-dog to the homeboys -- has been ministering to the homies and families on Los Angeles' East Side for more than 20 years; he founded Homeboy Industries, including the Homegirl Cafe just east of LA's Chinatown, to give jobs to recovering gangbangers nobody else would hire -- like the guy who had tattooed an obscene message on his forehead in prison, and had to get rid of it if he was going to change his life.

Boyle's book, ``Tattoos On the Heart,'' is an account of those decades of heartbreak and violence and loss, and even humor [the one about the homeboy asking about giving the waitress a tip is a pip -- no, I won't tell you; you have to read it].

He's buried nearly 200 of his young parishioners. And he obviously has a lot to say to all of you, and vice versa -- I was overwhelmed with the numbers of you who called to talk to him on the program today.

He's in remission from leukemia -- ''intermission'' as the homies call it. He looked pretty hale in studio, with just a cough from the dregs of a cold, wearing a black shirt with ''Homeboy Industries'' embroidered on the chest.

I'll put some money down now to bet that, as his book hits the shops and reviews, Hollywood comes calling about the Greg Boyle story.

Next time, a family living in an Atlanta mansion gives away half of its riches after the young daughter wonders about the gulf between her life, and that of a homeless man she spots from the window of the family car. ''The Power of Half'' -- could you do that? Would you?

-- Patt Morrison