The Philly Phiat Rides Again

Philly Phiat
Borda's Philly Phiat even made the rounds inside Citizen's Bank Park.

Remember that funny school teacher who drove his tiny red Fiat around Citizen's Bank Park on the morning of every Phillies playoff game last fall, to bring the team good luck? 

Luigi Borda decorated his car with a lot of big Phillies P's and christened it "The Philly Phiat." Then he drove that thing around the park, beeping it's horn like a world championship depended on it.

Which, it turns out, it kind of did.

Now, Borda has driven his Philly Phiat off the road and onto the pages of a book he's written called Andiamo ... Let's Go! Luigi Discovers Philadelphia.

It's the first in a sweet series of self-published geography books for children. In them, Borda's main character, an Italian immigrant teenager named (ahem) Luigi drives his "Phiat" through all 50 states, delighting in the wonders of his strange new country.

The book is loosely autobiographical. Borda came to the States from Italy in 1969 with his parents and two siblings, and they all jammed into a South Philly row house with his aunt, uncle and five cousins. Forty years later, Borda, now a geography teacher at Julia R. Masterman Middle and High School, still lives in South Philly, close to the crowded place he once called home.

Presumably, Borda, his wife and two daughters have more elbow room than he had growing up.