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.
(409) Tricia
Sun, 6 June 2010 00:32:24 +0000

I had several close friends in High School, and although we drifted apart, we have recently reconnected and are trying to keep our connections alive. (we are exactly the same age as the Ames girls). I encourage my daughters to "work" at the friendships now, I remind them the boys will come and go, but if they are true to each other their girlfriends will be with them forever.
My new friends - the reason I read this book - is for our newly founded book club. Our group started as an idea by our daughters to go on vacation together for their sweet 16 last summer - with a couple of add ons we now have ourself a book club. I treasure these new friends and hope that our friendships will grow stonger and endure time. We are looking forward to more outings with each other outside of our book club. If anything could inspire us to remain dedicated to each other and our friendship - this book did. It was truely inspirational and I can't wait til our next meeting in 2 weeks so we can discuss what a fantastic book this was, and how fantastic your friendships are.

(408) Jessica Wolfrum
Sat, 5 June 2010 19:55:50 +0000

Thank you so much for this book!! I have one girlfriend who's been my "other sister" since we were born. I am sending her the book tomorrow!! I also have a group of 4 other girls and we've been friends since we were in our early teens. We call ourselves "The dancing girls". Reading this book made it ever-more clear to me how important these woman are in my life. As I got older, I thought that I was the "odd" one who held on so closely to these childhood friends. Many friends I've gained in my twenties (who are also dear to my heart) lost touch with many of their childhood girlfriends. I can say that after reading this book, I was overcome with a sense of great pride that these 5 women have remained a constant in my for the past 20-30 years. How grateful I am that they know the toddler Jessica, the teenage Jessica, the 20 year old Jessica, and now the 30 yr old Jessica...and vice versa!!! I truly believe that there is really nothing like those tightly knit girlfriend bonds that we form in childhood and carry throughout...I have a biological sister, Jillian, who I call my twin (we are 17 months apart), and I also have 5 other sisters..Molly, Rebecca, Lindsay, Gina, and Rene..all these girls are my sisters for life!!! Thank god we are only one text, phone call, email, or plane ride away!!!

(407) Linda
Sat, 5 June 2010 02:18:25 +0000

I just finished this book about 10 minutes ago and absolutely loved it. There are so many people who can relate to this book including our group of five girls who will be going to our 50th Central High School class of '61 reunion in Sioux City, Iowa, next summer. We try to reconnect as often as we can but we are all Iowa girls living in Lake Tahoe, Pennsylvania, Omaha, and Des Moines. We also keep in touch via email. Thanks so much for sharing your stories with all of us. I loved your book.

(406) Sue
Thu, 3 June 2010 04:14:48 +0000

I was at a vendor conference a couple weeks ago in Charleston, SC and was browsing through the bookstore at the airport while waiting for my flight back to Milwaukee and as I read the flyleaf for this book it reminded me so much of my own group of friends that I had to buy the book. I just finished reading it and I loved it!. I am part of a group of 5 friends who have been friends since middle school/high school. In fact finishing the book tonight with all of the emotions it made me feel seemed fitting as one of our group lost their dad yesterday and as I made the calls to the other three last night, I reflected on how great it was to be able to lean on each other in hard times. I also have two grown daughters who are my best friends and it makes me so grateful to have all of these tremendous women in my life. I also have my work friends, my theatre group, neighbors, etc but no one can replace those friends that you grew up with, that grew with you! God bless the women in our lives!

(405) Leslie
Thu, 3 June 2010 00:59:10 +0000

I just finished reading this book and I was incredibly moved by it. I grew up in a small town in SW Iowa in the 70's and so I was intrigued by the book. I love that these women have been able to maintain this close of a friendship and I believe it to be a gift from God. I don't have the story that they do but I do maintain some of my friendships from my growing up years. These women still mean a great deal to me, but the friendships that I have established later in life have the greatest hold on my heart! I also believe that people come into our lives for a season, a reason and a lifetime. We all get our lifetime friends...some have them their entire lives while others are gifted with them later in life. It truly doesn't matter when we receive them, only that we do and we treasure who they are and what they mean to us.

(404) Courtney Cagg
Wed, 2 June 2010 19:07:28 +0000

Reading this story has had such a profound impact on me because it reminded me so much of my group. The group started in a school lunch room "“ 3 small groups of girls coming together because it looked like we were at the "fun table". Although we're all just 27 (which we feel is frighteningly close to 30"¦) the "Fubars", as we've called ourselves since we were 15, have been friends for over 15 years & counting. So much of what the Ames girls have gone through reminds me of our tales & "adventures" "“ and not a day has gone by in the last 5 years that I can remember not seeing an email from one of us "“ of course each member is copied whether they like it or not! We've had so so many laughs over the years but we've also "buoyed" each other through quite a lot of heartache. We lost one of our 11 "fubs" at the age of 19 in a tragic car accident that two of us were unfortunately witness to, and another one of us sadly passed away this past November in a similar manner. We hold each other up through it all "“ whether it be dancing around like crazy to a bad Whitney Houston song to help someone get over a painful & surprising break-up, to holding someone's hand while she reads a eulogy, to the simple stuff like keeping everyone up to speed with what jeans we should be wearing and what the latest Star magazine says. We are all completely different from each other in many ways, but so connected in a way we can't fit to words. The Ames girls story is extraordinarily uplifting because it is just so real and gives me great confidence that as my friends and I all move into the next phase of our lives we will still continue to be so much apart of each others (the first 3 fubars will be married this year!!). Nic, Kel, Rye, Hay, Jess, Doherty, Finos, Cass, Natty, Kimmy, Cagg (that's me! nickname of course"¦). We're quite literally sisters. I don't have a clue what I would do, or who I'd be, without them.

(403) Ashley
Tue, 1 June 2010 15:11:55 +0000

I could tell many similar stories about my own group of friends; like the girls from Ames, there's nothing really unusual or extraordinary about any of them. But each of our stories and the people in them are unique and extraordinary, because they're US. As I read the book, I was continuously struck by the thought that I'm one of the lucky ones. I GET it. I know that friendships like these exist all over the world, but I also realize that those true, lasting, they're-my-family friendships are rare and priceless. My girls and I--some of whom have been together since elementary school, and some who came along a few years later--are now in our late twenties. We're all at very different places in our lives--some of us still single, some now starting families, all at various stages in our careers--and we have yet to experience many of the challenges that the girls from Ames have weathered together. But we will be there for each other when those times come, no matter how far apart we are or how much time has passed since our last visit. I was so encouraged by the fact that even as the girls' lives and friendships changed, their love and support for each other did not. As my girls and I continue through this very transitional part of our lives, I am reassured that our bond truly is special and powerful enough to keep us together. We will soon gather for our annual beach trip, which is sure to include many of those laugh-until-your-stomach-hurts moments, a few tears, the spilling of secrets, and a cocktail or two...or three (provided that none of us happen to be pregnant this year!). I will be passing this book along to them, and reminding myself how fortunate I am to have these girls in my life.

(402) Sandra Hughes
Wed, 26 May 2010 18:19:37 +0000

We are a similar group...friends for over 53 years. All from Wayne, Nebraska (population 4200). In high school we were known as the "Daffy Dozen". We gather every 5 years for a high school reunion during Wayne's "Chicken Days" celebration. Johnny Carson used to feature the winner of the "Chicken Crowing Contest" on his show. Johnny was originally from Norfolk...just 35 miles away. Each reunion we enter a float in the "home-made Chicken parade." Several of us have won prizes in the "Chicken Song Contest." We remain close to most of our 57 classmates.

(401) Sheryl
Tue, 25 May 2010 02:51:55 +0000

I grew up in Iowa and actually attended ISU. I never really had a close group of friends like these until about 6 years ago while living in Davenport, IA. It started out as people moving into a new neighborhood, but a bond formed among us. First it was five of us and then the group grew to eight. The first friend moved away due to a husband's job relocation, but another one joined the group and she has been the last one to join. Four others have since moved to other states or towns, including myself. However, we still try to get together once per year (even though it is hard with family activities because every one is so busy anymore). We are always there for each other and I know we always will be. There is nothing more important than the power of true friendship.

I also have to say this is the first book I have read in probably 12 years due to another friend asking if I had read it, knowing my allegiance to ISU. I am so glad this is the book that has started me reading again. I was hooked from the beginning.

Thank you for writing it!

(400) Tammy Imig
Sun, 23 May 2010 23:56:36 +0000

There are 8 of us...we don't have a fun name like the Shit Sisters...we've always just been, "The Girls". A few met in elementary, a few more were added in middle school and by 9th grade we were all in! We are all 32 years old now and have shared in many joys and sorrows. We grew up in Athens, GA, a college town like Ames. Two of us, myself and Meghan, have Iowa roots. Her mother and mine actually lived in the same apartment building in the 70's. It's those kind of connections that led us to becoming friends but it's so much more that has led to us remaining so close. We are in 5 states and one in China but we always make at least one trip a year to be together. Sometimes for celebrations like the 5 weddings and sometimes for support, one of the girls' husband killed himself and two weeks later another lost a brother to alcoholism. We've just begun the child rearing portion with the newest arrival just this week, Taylor Elizabeth. Four weeks ago we also welcomed Rosemary Sophia to add to the 3 others.
My trip this week was to visit Meghan in Philly to visit with her and her Rosemary. She was reading The Girls from Ames. And so I read while she breast fed, while she slept and even when I was washing my hands...I couldn't put it down. I am not a reader, to say the least, this was honestly the 3rd book I've read and completed in the last 6 years. And I read it in 3 days, which is so unlike me. I loved the book and have already started recommending it to everyone. I am giving this copy to my mom tomorrow. She grew up in Iowa City and still keeps in touch with her best friend Diane that she has known since the 6th grade. Mothers instill the importance of friendship in their daughters and I am so grateful that she instilled in me the importance of being a good friend. Although I am not always the best friend I could be, I feel so blessed to have my 7 girls that understand and love me no matter what. There is no substitute for that love.
Thank you.

(399) Viki Mowatt
Thu, 20 May 2010 15:48:25 +0000

I was given this book by one of my clients. She is a single gal and we have become good friends. She knew I would like to read this and now I will be passing it on to my best friend who is in Alaska. We have been friends for over 40 years.

I so feel for Karla. I, myself have lost not one... but 3 children. All boys. Each had his own set of issues at birth to deal with. The hardest was my son Ryan. He lived the longest and we thought we had it made... then one day, he got sick.. 3 days later he was dead.

If I could share only one thing with Karla and everyone, it would be that you NEVER forget these beautiful children or loved ones... but.. it does get easier and you will come, at some point, to be able to help others b/c of what you have gone through.

Take every day and live it to the very fullest. I have one remaining son, he was my first born.. He is now 42 and I also adopted a beautiful little girl, who is now 30! I have taught each child and also my grandchildren to live life, have fun, love others and don't waste time on meaningless things like anger or hate.

I am in my 60's now. Have a rich and full life. Thank you for letting me share. Viki

(398) Henri Wiesner
Thu, 20 May 2010 03:20:22 +0000

Next week I will be celebrating my 49th birthday. When I was 12 years old, I started Junior High School. I had Mr. Lynch for social studies and although I really liked Mr. Lynch, I didn't like this girl in my class named Anna Banda. Within weeks of school starting, she managed to get herself kicked out of our class. I was so happy! But not for long...because of her class schedule change, she ended up in my math class. We eventually ended up becoming such great friends that 37 years later, she is still my best friend!!! I marvel at this woman that has been there through all the thick and thin with me.

We are both married and both have two children. Our families love each other, which is a plus but what really matters to both of us is that there is nothing better than an old friend that just knows you inside and out. She once sent me a magnet that read "You'll always be my best know to much".

I also have another friend that is just such a sweet story. I met her when I was in elementary school. We went to Jr. high and High school together. After graduation we even went on our senior trip to Hawaii together. After that we lost touch. For 30 years I remembered her on her birthday, would think of her often and even tried to find her but wasn't able to ever track her down.

Last year a mutual friend was able to get us connected via email. She sent me an email and said that she lived in Roseville, CA. I sent her an email and told her I lived in Auburn, CA. We were 20 minutes away from each other!

We decided to meet at Chili's for lunch...I was so silly, huh? Within minutes it was as if we'd only been separated for 30 days, instead of 30 years. I see her at least 3 times a month now.

Friendship is a great thing! I am so blessed to have both of these ladies and so many other friends as part of my life. I love them both so much!

(397) Karen
Mon, 17 May 2010 06:09:39 +0000

I am from Marcus, Iowa. One of my brothers and several cousins went to ISU. I picked up the book "The Girls from Ames" at the Little Rock,AR airport to read on the flight back from visiting one of my long term girlfriends. We are a group of former/current nurses who met while going to nursing school at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Nursing in Washington, DC. We graduated in 1974 with bachelors in nursing. Some of us stayed in better touch with others but we are a group of 8 that we refer to as the Seattle 7 because at our first gathering in 25 years 7 of us met in Seattle. We have been getting together every other year now and sometimes more often. Our connection is that we went to nursing school together and were Army nurses. We email and call each other. We have helped each other through loss of parents, loss of spouse, births, divorce, job and career changes. We have that same easy laughter, the same knowing of each other that is mentioned in the book. Two of our group have also had breast cancer. We are on to the grandchildren and hoping to be retiring. We talk about having one home, wheel chair friendly and hiring our caregivers when we are old as we just enjoy each other so much. I am the Iowa girl in the group. I enjoyed your story and will recommend it to my Seattle 7 friends. All the best. Karen Kuehn, former Iowa farm girl.

(396) Patty
Sun, 16 May 2010 00:54:49 +0000

I am one of 6 sisters ranging in age from 65 to 49. We e mail every single day, sometimes 2, 3, or 4 times. The second oldest sister, Judy, bought this book, wrote how much we would all love it, and mailed it to me. I devoured it in 4 days, finding similarities among the Ames girls and my sisters. I was up till 2:30 last night so I could mail it along to my sister Sandy today. I laughed, I cried, I was very upset with the the intervention chapter, oh yes I was!!, but like Sally forgave all the girls. How nice to see that you have all evolved into caring, loving adults, keeping Sheila close as well. As one of 6 sisters who are so close, I can positively identify with all of you. The book was just a great read so we must thank the author for introducing us to the AMES GIRLS! Very best wishes to all of you!!

(395) Leah McCormick
Fri, 14 May 2010 20:34:15 +0000

Madrona Girls

We are a relatively young group of girlfriends, but that doesn't change the longevity of our friendship. Some of us have been friends since age 6, and others came along as late as middle school, but we are still together, still sisters, 20 years later. We are between the ages of 25 and 27 (in spring of 2010), and there are a few of us. I have to be honest and say that not all of the original MG have stuck around this long, but they are still near us, still a part of us, and who knows how and when their absence may change.

The reason we're the "Madrona Girls" (and everyone in our town of Edmonds, Washington, knows this) is because of the K-8 nongraded school that we all grew up in. Like the Ames girls, we were a bit exclusive for this reason, because you really couldn't be a Madrona Girl without having gone to Madrona school. We were joined together in different ways besides Madrona, then and through the years, such as girlscouts, soccer, first jobs, and then later, the same universities and book club (The Girls of Ames is, appropriately, our first read!). Most of us are still in the Seattle area, while others have moved to New York, L.A., and Montana, but since we're still in our twenties we tend to be around our families for the holidays and other times throughout the year. We still see each other all the time, although email and Sykpe are helpful.

The core of us include Leah (me), Katie, Kiira, Erika, Katherine, Trisha, Maria, and Lauren. We are the girls who still see and talk to each other on quite a regular basis, and email daily using a yahoogroups email list. I am the creative, tell-it-like-it-is, go-getter; Katie is our sensitive, empathetic, and relatable friend; Kiira is our blossoming flower and the go-to girl for all of us, as well as our memory keeper; Erika is a leader, eternally optimistic and the planner; Katherine is our friendly, life-long learner and risk taker; Trisha is resilient, and one to be admired for her achievements and many talents; Maria is the free-spirit, high energy, and full of pure kindness; Lauren is our genius/semi-hippie, who has accomplished much in her life and still puts time and effort into our longtime friendship.

We have many, many stories and traditions "“ one being our yearly MG Christmas. Since early high school, we have always, around Thanksgiving, had Kiira's mom draw names for each of our secret santas within the group. Around Christmas, we all get together, have a cocktail party (illegally for the first few years), reveal the secret santas, go to dinner, and sometimes a show (last year is was the Rockettes). Then, we make predictions about what the next year will bring us. Usually we're quite a bit off.

When we were in our early teens, we were completely and collectively obsessed with pop stars like Britney Spears and "˜N Sync. We were die hard, and would make it to every single show in Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver BC that we could, "I Love Justin" signs in tow. After a while, we thought of a brilliant idea "“ why couldn't we make up our own pop girl group? So the Madrona Girls became the Sweet Sensations"¦and that was how our tattoo was born. We needed a symbol for our (talentless) girl group, and we chose the lightening bolt. To this day, Kiira, Katie, Trisha, Erika, and I (Leah) have the bolt on our foot. We're working on the other girls"¦

There is really too much to say about our group of girlfriends "“ far too much to bore you with on this page. Our ongoing journey could fill a whole book, just like The Girls of Ames! We're full of inside jokes, shared crushes, mutual joy and sadness over events in each others' lives. And there are hard times, too, when one of us feels strongly about how another is choosing to handle something, or whatever it may be, and in those instances we are reminded that we're no longer just friends "“ we truly are a family. These girls are my sisters, bonded to me more closely than my own sibling (we all have our own stories"¦) and they will never not be in my life. Here's to many, many more years of strong, lasting, once-in-a-lifetime female friendships, all around the world! Cheers!

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