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.
(439) Lisa Munson
Fri, 9 July 2010 20:24:58 +0000

I was at a dinner "reunion" with my aunts and my grandmother "95 years young" and other members of my family when my aunt gave me the book "The Girls from Ames" I read your book in one day!loved,loved,loved it!!! I live in Boone Ia just fifteen minutes west of you and I also graduated in '81. I laughed, I cried and most of all the memories I had were just as though I was part of your group. I remember Boyd's Dairy there were 3 of them in Boone Ia. I also knew Margaret I have also went through the "Not" belonging to groups and have watched my child go through the same experience. I lost my mother due to cancer when I was 26, also lost my father in a freak farming accident almost 20 years to the day of my mothers death and my father in law to alziemers. We had also lost a beautiful grandaughter at 8 months. I can relate to you. The funny things you mention is the '75 monte carlo, My first car was a '74. " light blue" I went to the same concerts, Journey, Iowa Jams etc.. I have told everyone I know about your book Wow!!!! MEMORIES... You all have touched me and I thank you for the memories good and bad. If not for the bad we wouldnt be the strong people we are today. I have had many friends that I havn't seen in many years but I do have one friend that I have stayed in touch with since the 5th grade. I will try to contact my high school friends and tell them about your book. You really don't know how this can be a great turning point in my life. I thank each and everyone of you.


(438) Valerie
Thu, 8 July 2010 03:40:34 +0000

I picked up the book because I could relate to a 40 year friendship. My best friend Shelley and I met in July 1970 at the age of 9 in Chicago. She moved to Omaha in our sophmore year of highschool to live with her father. I then moved to Omaha to be with her at age 23. She then went travelling around the world and ended up in Ketchikan, Alaska as the only female Bush Pilot. I remained in Omaha to raise my daughter so she could be near her dad. Neither Shelley or I married. Our friendship is defined as this, we are one, we are soulmates. We know each other like the back of our hands. No matter the miles between us - it changes nothing. We can pick up the phone and pick up just like it was yesterday. If one has forgotten a shared memory or experience, the other remembers. We know when something is wrong without the other telling us, so we pick up the phone. The line of intuition between us is very strong.

The book also brought back memories of me visiting my grandparents in Fort Dodge, Iowa and then Jolley, IA. I still have family in Downs, Webster City and Clarion, Iowa as well as friends in Ocheydan. I love the State of Iowa, I love the corn fields swaying in the summer time, it's easy to get lost in thoughts on a summer night sitting under a big tree listening to the crickets and the swaying of the corn.

Thank you for your book and allowing me to revist memories of yesteryear.

(437) Abby
Wed, 7 July 2010 01:46:41 +0000

Girls From Ames,
I picked up your book at Barnes and Noble this summer because I recognized the name Ames from a New Years Eve wedding I had attended there this past year. I didn't know that day what a treasure I held in my hands.
Your story is so inspiring. I do not have the same close knit group of friends your girls have. But I do have some friends I have made now that I am in college, and after reading your story I realize how important it is for these new college friendships to last. I want these friendships to be as honest, loving, supportive and fun as yours is. And I now have the confidence and dedication to work harder at these friendships when I go back in the fall.
I am the same age as Christie would be today. (In fact I was born 22 days after her). I never met Christie but her story through this book was so inspiring and encouraging. I dream to one day work in a pediatric hospital and hope that I can meet inspirational girls like Christie and help them. I know Christie would have been proud of this book and her mother's friendships because even as a stranger I was deeply touched by this unforgetable book.
Thank you for an amazing summer read!

(436) Cristi Thompson
Tue, 6 July 2010 18:05:57 +0000

Like many of the women who have written into this website, I was introduced to this book by one of my dear friends who happened to pick it up in Target and she immediately emailed the rest of us after reading the first few pages and told us to start reading it too. I listened and finished the book in two days. Our group shares much in common with the Girls from Ames, there are 12 of us and we have all been together as a unit since high school. Some of us grew up together starting in elementary school, having been in our hometown all our lives. Others came later and through different members of the group and we all came together sophomore year of high school at a sleep over (in the basement of my grandparents' home) and the Cary Girls were born. We aren't as far along in our journey as the Ames girls, only one year shy of our 10 year high school reunion, but we have seen 6 weddings (going on a seventh), the birth of two children and a host of heartaches and celebrations. There have been days I have wondered if the Cary Girls would make it as a group ... some of us have gone through periods of drifting away and coming back ... but we always manage to come back to eachother. Email has helped tremendously, we started group emails in college and still email on a monthly if not weekly basis. And we don't miss milestones ... bachelorette parties, weddings, baby showers, holidays, birthdays ... there is a group event at least once a year with almost all in attendance. We have smaller groups within our group and there are mini-reunions, lunches and visits among those girls too. We are all invested in eachothers' lives and families, updating constantly about siblings, work and asking for advice or just sharing funny stories and inside jokes. Reading the Girls from Ames renewed my faith that we will make it. We don't have a choice ... in fact, I don't think we could make it in life without eachother!! Four of the 6 of us that are married ended up marrying our high school sweethearts and those men know it too. I can't tell you how many times I have expressed my frustrations about one girl or another in the group to my husband and he has set me straight, " ... in five years will this matter?" And the answer is always, "No" because I know we'll be laughing about whatever "it" was that we were so mad about, if we even remember "it" at all! Kudos and thanks to Jeffrey Zaslow and all the Girls for making this book happen. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and I know there was a reason that this book fell into my hands at the time in my life that it did and I am forever grateful!

(435) Chris Hobson Whalen
Sun, 4 July 2010 16:57:50 +0000

I have two groups of women friends, one called the Mambo Mamas. This special group of friends began when we were all married with very young children, in our early 30's (now in our mid 50's). We meet once a month at one of our homes, each bringing a dish to share and our joys and sorrows. We do a lot of laughing and it rejuvenates us all!
This group of friends has been so very supportive and loving, there is absolutely nothing I wouldn't do for any one of the 7 other women in this circle and they for me. There is not enough room to write the joy and appreciation I feel for each and every one of them.

The other four person group, now three, is a very close circle of friends. Three other women who I know I can truly be myself, say and reveal anything. Part of th reason we are so close is because we watched on of our four, Cyndi, die from breast cancer that had matasized to lung and brain cancer, in January 2007. She was an incredibly strong, funny and insightful woman who brought us other three closer together. When she was first diagnosed in the late 1990's she began a weekly tradition of Tea at 3 each SUnday. None of us ever miss that gathering. The 3 of us were with Cyndi when she took her last breath on earth, stroking her and telling her it was alright to let go, we were here for her daughter, Emily. I think of her every day and she is with us every week when we continue to meet on Saturday or Sunday for "Tea at 3". And now quite often joined by her daughter Emily.
Now in both groups our daughters sometimes join us all in their early to mid 20's. My daughter Connie, is chomping at the bit to read The Girls from Ames, which I just finished. She has a gorup of friends whom she has been close with since elementary school and now in their mid 20s beginning careers and marriages, they still see each other ofen. I am thrilled that she will have a group of friends that will really know who she is as a person, an individual, from almost day one.
Thank you for understanding and pointing out the power and wonderment of female friendships - it is a miracle to behold and something I am grateful for every single day.

(434) kim Blythe
Sun, 4 July 2010 04:28:04 +0000

I just happened to be browsing through the bookstore when I came across this book and it couldn't have come at a better time in my life. I am very fortunate to have found a group of 8 girls from college to be my group of ya-ya's. one I have been friends with since the first grade, the others I met while in my sorority at University of Louisville. We are at the point in which we are all starting careers, moving to different cities and getting married and it has been hard adjusting to not seeing and talking to each other on a daily basis. We just recently started a weekly email chain to be updated on each other lives weekly and to plan various trips to get together. This book was very insightful and encouraging in that we have already experienced both joy and sorrow as a group at a young age and I only hope that my group of sisters will remain as close as your group. You all are truly inspiring in the various issues you have had to deal with and I wish you all the best in all that you do!

(433) Bobbi Crane
Thu, 1 July 2010 00:11:03 +0000

First, let me say how much I enjoyed your book. I am a little of all of you. I, too, am a breast cancer survivor (15 yrs clean). So,I understand the healing power of female friendship in tough times, as well as the joy in good times.I have told all my friends about this personal account of the 11 of you. I have a feeling that my book will be in tatters and tear stained when it is returned to me at last. Thank you for sharing your lives with the world, and for reminding all of us about the power of friendship.

(432) Gay Troiani
Tue, 29 June 2010 19:54:31 +0000

Even though my group of friends is small in comparison, we are no different from The Girls from Ames. We call ourselves "The GGT's & FFF's." Girls gone traveling and friends for (now) fifty-one years. Two of us have been friends since first grade and the other joined us in the second grade. I could identify with the whole story and like so many other posts, I laughed and I cried. When I finished the book last night, I had tears in my eyes and just laid in the bed and thought. There were even parts that I read out loud to my husband. He's a great listener when I read aloud! Thanks for sharing your story so that our story comes alive as well.

(431) Carol Green
Mon, 28 June 2010 14:27:43 +0000

I am very interested and almost spell bound to read about the Ames girls. I have a group of 8 friends all from high school and some from grade school who have a similar story. However unlike the Ames girls we started our reunions when we were in our late 30's-early 40's. Now at age 65 we continue to value our connections even more.We have seen each other through illnesses, cancers, family deaths, children and grandchildren. We have traveled to Europe twice and plan another big trip soon. I have thoug about writing our story and now am more inspired. Friendships among women are very powerful and play a huge role in our lives. Lp6i4

(430) Chellene Wood
Sat, 26 June 2010 01:21:52 +0000

Dear Ames Girls and Mr. Zaslow:

Your story is moving indeed. I just finished the book. Several weeks ago a colleague at work shared with me Mr. Zaslow's book, "The Last Lecture". Her oldest child and my youngest (both daughters) graduated from high school this month. A couple of days after completing this book (an inspiring story as well), I was at another girlfriend's home -- we often trade/share books with each other (we met through pre-school, our children similar in ages) -- and she handed me "The Girls from Ames"; already an interesting Zaslow connection!

I have many strong female friends (one I've known 50 years!). They are not all in the same group but I am touched by each and everyone. My first childhood girlfriend I've known since I was two years old and she was three (we grew up 5 houses down from each other on a cul-de-sac in northern CA -- in the Bay Area). Even though she warned against it, I married (and divorced) her favorite cousin. The marriage produced two beautiful daughters. She is still my best friend (she now lives across the country).

Two other friends (we we would be considered a "group") are from the midwest (one from IL and one from MI). My grandmother (a woman I had great respect and admiration for) was born (in 1894) and raised in West Liberty, IA -- something about those mid-western values! I have, in my posession, 4 years' worth of a diary she kept while growing up in West Liberty. She lost her mother when she was 12 and was raised mostly by her father. What wonderful adventurous stories -- someday I would like to write about her life. She was a college graduate who held a career (as head dietician) in hospitals across the midwest (OK and ID come to mind) before she married and had children.

My best friend from college (we've known each other 34 years) shares many parallels with Kelly's life. Like Kelly she is a writer and a teacher, and a passionate advocate for her students. She recently learned that she did not get tenure in a charter school where she has taught for the past two years. In a school with nearly 300 students, she recieved over 200 letters of support from students and parents. She believes she was forced out by a few narrow-minded individuals and because she has openly supported LGBT students on campus. My heart goes out to her. Like Kelly, her story will be told.

Thank you for the opportunity to share.

(429) Donna Van Grinsven
Fri, 25 June 2010 03:40:26 +0000

I apologize for the typing errors in my post earlier today. I was typing through tears. So very sorry. I really do know how to spell.

(428) Missy
Fri, 25 June 2010 01:07:57 +0000

From the first few sentences in this book I felt as if I was reading about my friends, or as we call ourselves The Girlys! This is an amazing book for all women to read. Everytime I would read a page I would have to stop myself from calling my friends to tell them about it. I suggested it to all of them, and most of them have picked it up and can't put it back down. This author couldn't have written a more beautiful story about one of the most beautiful bonds in the world. I am so luck to have similar bonds with my Girlys. Thank you so much for writing this book and for writing it in a way that just makes sense!

(427) Donna Van Grinsven
Thu, 24 June 2010 16:55:18 +0000

I graduated in 1979 from a small town in Wisconsin. Although my group of friends wasn't the elite clique like the girls', so much of their history is similar to mine. Through the years I stayed in contact with a handful of girlfriends. Then at our 30th HS reunion I was able to reconnect with three friends that I hadn't seen in over 25 years. Now with Facebook, we are keeping in touch and it is so much fun. However, there was a conspicuous absence at the reunion. I have not seen or heard from the woman I considered my best friend in over ten years. She and I were soul-mates throughout HS and beyond. We wept as we departed for separate colleges. My first vacation at my new job was spent soley with her. I chose her to be my matron of honor over my own sister! As married couples, we four were friends. After my first child was born though, my best friend got divirced and moved away to "find herself". We kept in tough with letters and phone calls. We did meet up again in 1993 and it was like old times. We laughed and cried just as we did when were teens. Then as soon as the conversation turned to her ex-husband, it was obvious that I had committed the ultimate sin against her, I had remained friends with the ex. In her eyes it didn't matter that her ex was a friend of my husband's or that the ex's 2nd wife was a friend of mine from work. I had not remained loyal to her. An ocassional letter was exchanged for the next few years. Then in 1998, my Christmas card to her was returned with no forwarding address. I have been grieving the loss of this friendship ever since. I was told at the 30th reunion that she had been in the area recently and met with some of our frineds. When asked if she was planning to visit me, she evidently said "What would be the point". That was like a knife to my heart. With my 50th birthday approching, I cannot help being a little intospective. I have had a really good life. I have been married to a great man for 24 years, I have two wonderful daughters, and I do have a circle of friends. Yet, I still miss that intense friendship I had with my BFF. Why is that? My only hope is that somewhere out there she is living a happy life too, and maybe someday we can be friends again.

(426) Cassie
Thu, 24 June 2010 14:46:14 +0000

I just finished this book and it left me wanting to call up my best friends and have a reunion(we mostly all live in Iowa so we see each other often)! I was able to take my own trip down memory lane and compare my stories to yours. My friends and I have been just that, friends since I can remember...the earliest memories I have are from around 6-7 years old. Now 20 years later we are still going strong, standing up in each others weddings, being there when babies are born, and traveling to another state to see each other, we have stuck together thru it all. One thing that really stuck out to me in the book was the quote, "You can make new friends, but you can't make old friends." I love my new friends too, just isn't the same as my bond with my old friends who were there when we were molded to become the woman we are today. It wouldn't matter if we went a month without talking, as soon as you pick up the phone we start right where we left off the last time we talked. I have ordered and sent this book to my best friend since childhood who is living in Belgium. I plan to write a note in my copy and give it to my other friends to read. At 26 years old, I look forward to growing old with my friends who have been there threw thick and thin. What you girls from Ames have is beautiful and I'm so lucky to have the same bonds with my group!! Best of luck to you all!!!!

(425) Suzie Freedland
Wed, 23 June 2010 00:20:57 +0000

I decided to go to my 20 year reunion because I couldn't stand it any longer being in Florida from Altoona, Iowa I met the most dynamic young women that would change my life and my views forever. I never knew how to nurture friendships, follow with calls, write letters...I never did any of that. Instead I thought it was just lost, partly my fault...15 years just gone. For years, I had dreams about them and missed them so much and I just needed to fix it. Through Facebook we reconnected and left off like it was yesterday. Our reunion was amazing and meant the world to me. I forgot what it was like to laugh and cry with such comfort. This past weekend we reunited again, just the group of us and it was just as amazing. I can only think that each year will get better and better. I am now in their lives (I hope for good) and through your book have discovered that friendship needs to be nurtured, from all sides. Thank you again. The girls from Coral Springs thank you and I'll will pass this book along to the group.

Best to you! XOXO

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