Tell Us About Your Friends

We invite you to share your thoughts here on the Ames girls’ story, or to tell us about your own group of friends. (If there’s a follow-up project, we may be back in touch for more details. Thanks!)

Click here to share your thoughts.
(589) Evie Gathright
Fri, 30 December 2011 19:17:19 +0000

My best friend in the galaxy met me, the new student, in high school in 1965, so we've been friends for 46 years. She is my person, my confidante, my closest everything. I hated her college boyfriend, resolved those feelings when sharing her NY loft w/him and other roommates and now that she's been married to him, I like him. I don't think we've ever fought. Her family, a sister, two brothers and her parents, always welcomed me school nights,weekends and now, at annual celebrations, they still do.

I have a college best friend from 1970, so she's been in our lives 41 years. Her family of eight + parents always welcomed me weekends and after school. She lost a brother kayaking two years ago, and is warming up to our talking in part because the galaxy friend's father died in the spring.

I can call either to talk about anything picking up where we left off or about new news. They advise me about men, marriage, children, my mom & sister and my mental health. After my diagnosis of clinical depression in 1974, and my divorce in February, I needed both friends fiercely and they have never failed me.

My best friend who's a boy from high school's in LA, but we talk about 45 minutes every month. He's as good to confide to as the females, and needs our advice as well. I talk to my best friend in the galaxy at least five times/week, and my college best friend about every two weeks.

I have reading friends, church friends, coffee Sun. night friends, and friends I'll travel over 500 miles to see, including my mom's youngest sister, one of my Richmond, VA, aunts (she was in a rock and roll band in high school!). One of my three stepsisters was born on my birthday and we are close though we seldom see each other.

Friendship soothes the wrinkles in our days and nights, warms our hearts (my sons are my heart), removes our fears, strengthens our souls and is the reason for love.

(588) Jane Molen
Thu, 22 December 2011 22:16:35 +0000

I have a group of friends that I grew up with that is very much like your story. We are now 58 years old, have known each other all our lives, and we still get together every summer for our "Sisterfriends Reunion". We are from a small town in Indiana, where you go all 12 grades with the same kids. We lost one of our group in 1998 to breast cancer, and another among us is a breast cancer survivor. We are currently using "The Girls From Ames" as our Sisterhood of the Traveling Book. Each of us is reading it, highlighting anything that reminds us of our long time friendship, and writing any comments in the margins... then we pass it on to the next woman. I just finished it and I have to say I laughed, I cried, and I thought of my wonderful Sisterfriends through the whole thing. Thank you for sharing your story. My friends are the best, and I treasure every moment I get to spend with them.

(587) Christalla Christodoulou
Wed, 14 December 2011 18:03:31 +0000

hello :)
my name is christalla, and I am 14 years old. I'm from Cyprus.

My dad went to the states in august, and brought a couple of books, including yours. When i finished reading it i thought woow. It is inspiring to know that friendship can survive after school. I used to underestimate the true meaning of friendship, calling everybody my friends, and i used to have twenty "best friends". Reading about your story made me realize that friendship should be something more than being in the same class and having similar hobbies. I am lucky enough to have met a few girls that I can call friends, and I hope that when we reach our fourties, we will still be together :)

Thank you for sharing your story!
Christalla Christodoulou xx

(586) Wendy Anderson
Tue, 6 December 2011 01:51:13 +0000

Hello girls from Ames.

I just finished your book. I really enjoyed it. I too had a group of about 6 friends that have been a huge part of my life since 3rd grade for one of them, and 9th for the rest. We are now all 50 and went on a vacation to Florida to celebrate. Your book was brought up and I quickly bought it on my kindle. We could relate on almost every level. So much of what you went through we did as well. Even Rod Stewart! We get together every year at least once. The value of our girlfriends can't be overstated. While we were in FL we came accross two separate groups of women celebrating 50 birthdays. So I expect you all to go there this year! We are from Bloomington MN just up I35!
Love and God bless,

Wendy Anderson

(585) chris pople
Fri, 2 December 2011 02:00:45 +0000

We are now 60 years old and started the original BFF, putting it on shirts and hats. We've been getting together for over approximately 50 years, some growing up as Girl Scouts together or as neighbors. There used to be six of us, but have been five for over 30 years. We've been to many different cities, states and outside of the United States. From slumber parties in our earlier years to "parties" in our later years, we try to meet up once a year somewhere, living in different states, all growing up and going to school in Michigan. Your book hit home with me, our group having our share of ups and downs. I loved the book. My mom said I should have written a book about our group called the "Us" es.

(584) Nicole Fritz
Wed, 23 November 2011 04:35:31 +0000

I enjoyed reading this book so much. i too have a collection of girlfriends that keep me stable and sane. They are always supportive whether they agree with my choices or not. Our group always has gotten bigger with each of us adding our new soul sisters to our group. My two every day girlfriends Jennifer and Tamara i met in my early teens , and they were women my heart clicked with instantly. I have a very large group of girlfriends and I am very proud to say I ve never lost any of them to any petty bullshit. we ve argued and made up but never have I ended a friendship. These sisters of my heart and I have gone long periods of time without being a part of my every day life but we can always pick up right where we were in our friendships. For example I recently reconnected with my grade school best friend on facebook, we spoke and turns out 2 days before I found her she was looking for me. When we talked it was like 13 years hadnt even gone by. Another example is my girlfriend Amy , I was food shopping in my local grocery store and spotted her.. we had not spoken in 10 years..Now we speak once a week. I always say Im unlucky in love but God saw fit to bless me with the most loyal and wonderful friends in the world. Friends are the family you get to choose. i could go on for days on how much these girls mean to me and how each friendship has spiderwebbed to include so many girls(at 33 we still consider ourselves girls.) We have shared joy and pain, triumphs and losses, and we will always have each other to hold on another up and the security that knowledge brings is priceless. One of the results of our friendships is watching our kids now grow up together and call each other cousins. My grandmother always told me to hold on to you girlfriends , they will get you through the rough times and make the good times that much better. The book was a wonderful confirmation of the feelings I have of absolutely needing my girlfriends, that I would be lost without them. God Bless all the girls in the book and any woman who knows the value of true friendship.

Nicole Fritz

(583) Kristina Ingvarsson
Sun, 23 October 2011 05:37:47 +0000

Thank you so much for opening up and sharing your life stories and the magic of female friendships. I pick up this book at an airport somewhere in United States and then it sat for awhile before I got to it but it was the right timing when I read it. I was on the airplane to Guam while reading chapter 12 - crying my eyes out but I didn't care and kept on reading. My life story is very different because I have always bonded with boys/men since I was a child. After my divorce and early 30th I realized how unhealthy it was for me to only have male friends and set on out on the quest to learn to understand women and establish female friendships. It wasn't an easy transition and I have made mistakes but today I have some very close and wonderful girlfriends who will be in my life no matter where I'm in the world. I have one female friend that is similar to your friendship and she is my oldest friend. Maria and I have know each other since we where five years old. We were very different growing up has always been more like sisters. Despite our paths separating already at high school age we have always stayed connected and we spend a lot of time together when I'm home visiting in Sweden. Our friendship is based on the fact that we know each others life history and like you described in the book - you can't hide or be something else. There is no judgement just support, advise, and somebody who gets it. All my friendships brings different aspects to my life, I value all my friends for the strengths and inspirations they give me. I have moved again to a new place in the world and connected with males right away and now searching to find female friends because I know I will need them for a healthy balance in my life. Thank you again for sharing your story, it was a wonderful read and inspiring.

(582) Jenette
Thu, 13 October 2011 05:40:43 +0000

At our 25th class reuinion this summer, my girlfriend told me about this book she read in a reading club. It reminded her sooo much of us growing up together, moving away from our small town in colorado,writing letters to each other in the olden days and now facebooking! I had asked her again of the name of the book while we were talking about an allergy diet she was going to give me, and shortly after that conversation I received the book in the mail saying,"Happy Birthday Shelly, I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did! I cherish our 30+ years of friendship! Love ya-Kisha!
I started crying before I even read the first page! There is definately something to a friendship that you get from no family member or marriage! She has come across the states for me when my sibling has passed- we found out together after our 10 yr reunion we were both pregnant and sent letters and pictures to each other. We have gone on a trip together, and I miss her deeply! I have other friends that I have these bonds with too from high school, but not necessarliy all of us together. I can have several unbelievably close friendships from my early years without many of them even seeing each other since high school, but have come to support me and my family throughout all the losses in my family and have come from all over the US. I am proud to have such strong ties with these men and women! (yes, I typed men!) Many of my friends were not friends in school, but have met again at the gatherings of my families deaths throughout the years and each one of these men and women give me something completely different! I have been blessed! Thanks for the giving of all your stories... I will now pass this book on to my other grade school girlfriend who lives on the east coast and pray she loves it like Myself and friend Kisha!

(581) Sandra Poston
Wed, 12 October 2011 18:48:18 +0000

Hey Girls! I just finished your book and it reminded me so much of my group of girls. We all grew up in Newton, IA - not far from Ames at all. There's 7 of us and these girls are my best friends still. Now at 22 while we're all out finding ourselves and trying to figure out how to take on the world your story inspired me to not be afraid of the risks that will come or to conquer the world because I know I will always carry these girls and Newton with me. I live in the twin cities now, over half of us do actually. We're able to see eachother regularly and thanks to Skype we can see those far away. The only sadness is of our group of 7 one of the girls chose to end friendships with all of us. Hopefully one day she'll change her mind. Your story gave me hope of that too, that one day our 7th will join us again. We also burried a time capsule right before we all went off to college. If you're still looking for a story in 17 years we'll be digging it up. I can't wait for that moment.
Thank you again for your beautiful story, it's exactly what I needed to read.

(580) Joanna M
Tue, 11 October 2011 02:11:42 +0000

Hi Girls!
I'm Joanna and I'm 20 years old currently living in Atlanta, GA. I randomly found your book at Barnes and Noble and read the inside cover and had to buy it. I just finished it! I could not not write some sort of response/opinion of the book. It was beyond wonderful! I cannot name a better book. I recently found this quote that says, "You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel as if you've lost a friend." I feel like I have lost 11 friends! I don't think I could express the happiness, laughter, tears, I experienced while reading your book. Your book made me realize how thankful I am for a group of friends I have grown up with since birth. There are 5 of us and our mothers were friends in a church group. We now live in 5 different cities, but continue to stay in contact with each other. Your book makes me yearn to keep this relationship with these girls for life. Thank you for being you :) I really loved this book!!
Much love,
Joanna M.

(579) Angela O'Connor
Fri, 30 September 2011 00:11:12 +0000

Hello girls,

My name is Angela O'Connor. I'm 40 years old and grew up in the Bronx and now live in Yonkers, NY. I just finished the book and I love it!!! It reminded me of all the friendships I have with my friends. I can say that I can relate to some of the stories in your book - the ups and downs - friends with sicknesses, families growing. Actually, I'm the single one in the group!! We still have get togethers with friends (we just had 15 of us together) I grew up with and even though we all live so close together but have busy lives, We still take the time to get together. It's important. I'm the only child, but i have sooo many sisters who are my friends!!! I have book club meeting tomorrow night and I will certainly recommend this book. Thank you again. I enjoyed it sooo much:)

Yours truly,
Angela O'Connor
Yonkers, NY

(578) dona
Mon, 26 September 2011 11:35:19 +0000

when i saw this book in the college bookstore (texas state university) while with my daughter for orientation, i had to have it....since i have my own "ames girl"....jean, who i met in los alamos, new mexico in 1978....she has been with me through marriage and divorce, the birth of my children, the death of my mother, pulled my second wedding together....she has always been there....i feel like i continue to know her as the years go by, but the ames girls book gave me a window into what is what like growing up there and makes sense of so many of her qualities that seem to emanate from loyalty and grace....and the meaning of deep, lasting relationships...thank you for a window into ames through the ames girls....dona.

(577) Judy
Sat, 24 September 2011 17:57:12 +0000

The Girls from Ames shows the depth of many female relationships but few have the quality and quanity of the Ames women. They have benn truly blessed. I belong to a group called the Ladies Sewing Circle (though we don't sew), and we've been friends for over 30 years. These 6 friends have become an important part of my life, often centering me through both joys and difficulties. Oh, we have our disagreements, and sometimes say, "so and so bugs me. How can we be friends?" And then that person does something so supportive and caring and I know why we are friends. We open our hearts and souls to each other, yet we can be silly and light too. Sadly there was a 7th member who moved quite a distance away and her husband limits the contact she can have with us (and she allows that), but we still remember her when we tell our stories of times past. These 6 women are a special blessing in my life, and your book made me appreciate them even more! thanks

(576) Shari
Wed, 21 September 2011 01:26:59 +0000

I am just finishing your book. Someone had mentioned it in Simple magazine so I checked it out of the local library. Perhaps the girls/woman are right in that we see our own lives and friendships mirrored. I openly admit that I cried when I read of both Sheila and Christie's deaths (please don't tell me anyone else dies in the last chapter!!). I felt the pains and tribulations - perhaps also because the "girls" are close to my age.
Thanks for Facebook I have reconnected with many of my old friends from high school- and amazingly enough, the one who was jealous of me back then arranged a reunion and didn't invite me!! I found it odd but have long grown out of that pettiness.
I did, however, want to mention a friend I had from the horse riding stables. Debbie and I met at 13 and have been friends ever since (we are now 51). She has married and divorced and I have married. She moved away and moved back. She lives in a nearby city but works in mine so we make a point of meeting up once a month for dinner to ensure that we never get too busy to see each other.
Power to female friends!

(575) Marianne Clark
Thu, 15 September 2011 16:08:18 +0000

A friend told me about "The Girls From Ames" as a must read for me. I loved it. You see, I'm part of a girls group of 6 women that we originally called "Mom's Group" and now we're known as "Ladies Night Out". Next year we're celebrating 30 years of meeting monthly for dinners and an annual trip together. While our lives parallel the Ames Girls with a bond like no other, we originally started as a group providing "pre-school" for our 3 year olds. We met while I was teaching aerobics, all discovering that our kids were the same age. We'd meet monthly to plan the curriculum for our kids, rotated houses each week and provided a fun and educational time for our children. After completion of the first year (1982)we decided to have a weekend get-away to treat ourselves since we had saved so much money not sending our kids to the traditional pre-school. Of course, we stayed close-by (in our hometown of Tucson) in case the kids or husbands needed us. From that point on, the adventures continued. We still meet monthly for dinner or events and annually have gone on trips from places such as San Diego, Vegas, San Francisco, Scottsdale, and a Mexican Cruise for our 20th anniversary, when we all turned 50 (except Anne... she's our baby and a couple years younger). I guess you can do the math and know that next year will not only be our 30th year together, but we'll all turn 60. We're traveling to Washington for a week to explore Vancouver, Victoria, and the San Juan Islands. Over the years we've been a "rock" to one another and have experienced childbirth, divorces, marriages, cancers, illnesses of our own children and birth of our grandchildren. Currently we all reside in Tucson. We laugh together (mostly) and yet cry together too. After one of the girls had a masectomy due to her breast cancer, once her treatment was over, she developed a non-profit organization called "BagIt" which we all support to this day. We all "pitch in" by helping with fund-raisers. Since 2003 over 25,000 individuals have received tote bags of cancer information with binders and CD's to help people cope with their diagnosis. Surgeons, oncologists and nurses throughout Arizona provide these tote bags to patients. We're so proud of her. We've been such a support system to each other... and at other times we laugh until we "pee our pants". So, you see, we haven't aged... and we cherish each time we're together. We even contemplated contacting "Oprah" (when she had her show)because we feel that we're so unique and have so much insight in keeping relationships solid, no matter how different we are personally. We have something so special and can't wait to see what adventures the next 10 years and beyond will bring to us.


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