A Bruin Guide to a Great Summer


By Mark Davis

Published Jul 1, 2007 8:00 AM

Quiet Rides: Tee Bosustow '60

Though he toiled in the entertainment industry for years, the job title of which Tee Bosustow is proudest is "father." For more than 20 years and countless road trips between Los Angeles and San Francisco, he developed a game to keep daughter Sylvie and himself entertained and connected. This summer, switch off the iPods, Game Boys and in-dash DVD players, he suggests, and try his lo-tech approach to peace on the road.

Game time

"When Sylvie was little, we had a long-drive game," Bosustow says. "It came out of reading her bedtime stories. I found it tedious to read the same books over and over." One night, he suggested that they create their own story together. The game had two rules: Sylvie had to invent three characters; her father had to make up a story that included all three. "Sylvie came up with some really wacko characters, not easy to weave together into one cohesive narrative." He ticks off some of the oddballs, such as Gunz Bunny, Rocky Rock and Tommy Toilet.

Nap time

"To her apparent delight, I somehow managed to make them all friends and come up with an exciting adventure," he says. "I would try to incorporate a moral from her day's activities, and I'd always end with the three of them going to sleep, in hopes it would help her fall asleep."

Go longer

For really long drives, the rules changed. Bosustow invented the characters, which allowed him to watch the road, and Sylvie was kept occupied dreaming up the stories. "We were utterly captivated by the ideas she weaved into her stories. If you give kids half a chance, they take us on some remarkable journeys. Her stories made the most boring drive a journey that was something extra special."

What goes around comes around

All these years later, it's clear that both father and daughter got more than peaceful car rides from their mutual storytelling. This past spring, Bosustow and Sylvie, now 21, made another run between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

"The tables have turned considerably," he says. "She is driving, we are in her car, and she has decided which route to take — the much faster 5, not my favorite, which is the slower, more scenic 101. She kept me entertained the entire trip."