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.
(379) Bobette
Tue, 13 April 2010 20:31:41 +0000

(378) Thank you so much for a wonderful book. Even tho I am much older than the girls, I could relate so much. I grew up in a small (very small) town in Minnesota. My group (4 of us) were all born in 1946. 3 of them still live in Minnesota and I live in California. We try and see each other every year. It is so fun to "pick up" right where we left off.

It is true, these girls know me best. I will make sure my girls read this book too.

(378) Becky
Tue, 13 April 2010 05:13:18 +0000

Thank you Ames girls for having the courage to share your story. I think that female friendship is crucial for a fulfilled life, and it was heartwarming to read about your relationship with one another.

I am slightly wistful after reading the book, because I moved around so much when I was growing up. It was hard being the outsider when so many girls had already formed their group of friends, and were not interested in including the "new girl."

However, I did live in the small town of Madison, Connecticut between the ages of 13 and 16, and although it was one of the shortest times I spent in one place, the friendships I made there have lasted.

I am still close with five girls I met there, although they were in different groups of friends. One girl is a unique individual, and was the first person in my eighth grade class to reach out to me. She is still one of my most trusted confidants, even though she isn't really close with my other friends from that town.

Another friend and I have been exchanging letters, and we enjoy communicating this way, because we think it is more authentic. We have become much closer since we started writing letters, and our phone conversations pick up where the letters left off.

I think the community makes a big difference in the quality of friendships formed in the preteen and teenage years. I have stayed close with more girls from Madison than from any other place I lived, and I lived in 3 countries and 4 states for the first 16 years of my life.

(377) alanna
Mon, 12 April 2010 22:49:41 +0000

I have a group of 11 friends from high school - some have been friends longer, but we came together as a group in high school. I cried throughout this book and I could feel the love the girls share. It was very clear to see that these girls had a fierce love for one another and were incredibly loyal. I can see parts of the Ames girls in all of my "Bluefield" girls and I was honored to be able to read a book about these love stories. I have often thought that perhaps the love that I feel for my friends is unusual, but it is great to see that it isn't. I have often said that being with my high school girls makes me feel like I am home. Thank you Jeffrey and thank you girls from Ames from a "girl from Bluefield".

(376) Natalie Benko
Mon, 12 April 2010 02:27:18 +0000

This story really struck me as I too, have such a strong bond with my friends. Though I am only 26, my friendship with my Abby started when we were babies in the nursery. I'm sure our bond didn't really form until we could say each other's names, but we still have such an amazing history that keeps us bonded even today.

Even more fun, I am 6'0 tall and Abby is 4"11. She is blond, I am brunette. Our parents used to say they should put us in a bag, shake us up, and we'd come out the same. She calls me long legs, I call her Babber. We have also been through many trying times from a house fire to the death of my boyfriend. We used to play school together all the time and now we are both teachers. The memories go on and on.

Currently, she is serving as a missionary in Honduras so we rarely get to see each other. However, when we do, we pick right up where we left off. There is such a comfort in an old friend. They know who you are, your history, your personality, EVERYTHING. You can just be "you" around them. There is such a peace in that. Abby and I can sit in silence or gab away, but they are both perfect ways of just simply being friends. I know our friendship will continue not just because of our history, but because we know God has blessed both of us with each other!

Thank you for opening your hearts and lives to us through this book!

(375) Jill Wagoner Halvorson
Sun, 11 April 2010 07:41:40 +0000

I grew up in Newton and went to HS in Des Moines, IA. Have been to Ames several times. My niece told me about this book and I cannot wait to read it. Tomorrow is the day. I was best friends since I was 4 yr old with the girl across the street, Linda, in Newton. As the years went by, I moved away, but the USmail kept us up with each other, then email, phone calls and such. Moving to CA, I often went back to IA for class reunions and we visited, laughed, cried, took many pictures. After 61 years of dear friendship, I lost her last Dec to cancer. My dear HS buddy, in DM, Fran, we were inseparable. Dated each others brothers for a while, went to the prom together, (double date),remember this was in the 60's and oh what easy fun. We both moved to CA and remained the best of friends for over 48 years. I lost Fran last Dec, also, to cancer. It was a priviledge to have these two women be my best friends for so many years and I got the chance to tell them. These two women will forever remain in my heart and spirit. Around each corner I see them still. I hear their laughter sometimes. Iowa is the best place ever to grow up, friendships stick like glue and that is something everyone should experience, having friends like that. Thanks for this book, after reading it, I know I will want to put into words my story on my these women who have touched my life.

(374) Deb Ross
Fri, 9 April 2010 00:17:26 +0000

I was very excited to hear that this book had been written about girls growing up in Ames, Iowa because I also grew up in Ames. But then to hear that one of the girls was Karen Brady, I got even more excited brcause my mother, Ruth Kindermann, was very good friends with Karen's mother, Ingrid. Karen is the baby, so she is quite a bit younger than I am. Karen's sister, Lynne, is a year younger than I am, so I played with her and her younger sister, Mary Beth the most. I remember Karen as being very little and very cute. I can't wait to read this book!

(373) susan
Thu, 8 April 2010 05:03:04 +0000

I grew up up in Ada, Oklahoma. When I was born in 1961 my mother had a roommate in the hospital & that baby of her's & I are best of friends to this day. Many that I was in kindergarten with remained in school with me through high school & some through college, many of which I still see & communicate with to this day.

The friend I met right before first grade is still like a sister to me, we were best friends all through school, roommates in & after college & will always remain closer than close. She is the sister I never had.

I travel to Mexico with a group of girls I formerly worked with, there are 6 of us & we go every year & have been going about 8 years now. We also get together one Friday a month & no one ever misses these 'girl's nights out.'

I truly value all these close friendships, it is comforting to have people in your life that know you best & will always love & be supportive of you!

(372) Emily Head
Wed, 7 April 2010 23:31:51 +0000

I can't wait to read this book!! About 10 years ago, a group of my sorority sisters who were extremely close friends at Birmingham Southern College in Alabama in 1962, got together for the first time in 40+ years in Pensacola, Florida, There were about 15 of us. The amazing part was that we picked it up like we had seen each other yesterday. There was no such thing as breaking the ice although some of us did not recognize others. It was an amazing spirit as these "friendships tried and true" reunited for a remarkable weekend.

(371) sandy
Mon, 5 April 2010 18:58:49 +0000

Our group just had a great party at our beach house celebrating turning 60 this year. My Washington friends include 3 close girlfriends and my husband who also went to highschool with us and came within 3 days of marrying one of my close friends:)We are rather a fluid group, maybe because of when we grew up but the 5 of us now live in Washington state after growning up in Southern California, but often get together with others form our group who live in California and Oregon. I have quoted so many passages form THE GIRLS FORM AMES to my daughters, sisters and friends. Fabulous book! gXiwa

(370) Nonie
Mon, 5 April 2010 02:30:46 +0000

The author mentions guys having different friendships than women, this is probably true but when I see my husband return to his hometown of Santa Barbara California and see him excited to see old childhood friends and point out why each corner of a street, park bench, or diner is special to him and the guys it makes me jealous that I don't have that with my old school friends. The antics of those boys and how they all turned out so amazing and successful in life is incredible to me. Should Zaslow ever consider doing a book on men and their friendships I know just the perfect group of guys who grew up in Santa Barbara before Santa Barbara was cool.

(369) Nicolle
Thu, 1 April 2010 18:29:31 +0000

I was touched and thrilled to have just finished this beautiful piece of literature. Thank you, thank you for sharing your stories!

My two long time girlfriends and I went to a penguin publishers book sale. We shopped separately and all bought this book and didn't know until after we compared purchases. I think it is a testament to the power of friendship that it spoke to all three of us. Thanks again!

(368) Pat
Wed, 31 March 2010 22:02:55 +0000

I have been lucky to have many friends walk with me on my lifeline, but one special forever friend was Judy. We were placed in the same crib at church in wichita kansas in 1949 and we stayed together thereafter. In 1995, her body died from an 8 year battle with breast cancer. I came to her home to "help her die with laughter" and visited afterwards to "help her family" get on with life. In 1998, i married her husband and with the blessings of my three sons, added her two wonderful children to our family circle. The best part is I am able to share judy with her children and to keep her alive with my memories. So, maybe her body left, but my forever friend is still with us where she always my heart. Thank you for a wonderful story of friendship.

(367) Meg
Tue, 30 March 2010 15:15:24 +0000

It was so heartwarming to read The Girls of Ames. I also have a very close bond with 8 girls from high school and we call ourselves the "Sisterhood." (A name our grown children make fun of from time to time.) "Are you emailing the sisterhood?"

Over the years we have bonded through reunions and visits and our ties have actually grown stronger.

Although we all don't have the same political views or live on the same coasts, we have been able to stay connected through great memories and much love.

What I loved about the girls from Ames is that each girl was very different from each other and they were allowed to be who they were within the group. They did not judge each other and just allowed each other to be who they were. That is what makes friendships last and what I have enjoyed in my " sisterhood."
Thanks for allowing us to delve into your very personal lives and see a little of ourselves. Have fun at your next reunion!

(366) Mary Lou
Sun, 28 March 2010 02:45:19 +0000

This is such a good book, and I'm sure reflects stories like this from all over the world.

I was fortunate enough to grow up with a group like this, and while we do not get together every year, we keep in touch via phone, letters, and email. The advent of email is wonderful for groups like the Girls From Ames, as it is so current and immediate, plus you can copy everyone.

My group was from Milton, Wisconsin, and we were all born in 1939. We were known as "The Clique". Two members of our group have died, but the rest are going strong, and while we don't all get together as one big group every year, we get together in smaller groups several times a year.

The most interesting part of the book for me was seeing the difference in girls who grew up in the 1940's and 1950's and girls who grew up in the 1960's and 1970's.

(365) Kristy
Sun, 21 March 2010 23:35:53 +0000

I just finished reading The Girls from Ames. What a wonderful story. I couldn't put it down! It had me laughing and crying as I connected my story to their story. I grew up in Ankeny, Iowa, just south of Ames and am just a few years older than the Ames girls. My girlfriends have been my family, my rock. We have been there for each other over the years since graduating from high school and I know we will continue to be there for each other. We've loved each other and supported each other through divorce, loss of parents, death of a spouse, and the tragic death of a child. My heart ached when I read about Karla's precious daughter Christie and her battle with leukemia. I felt like I was right there living through my late husband's fight against cancer. To hear that Kelly and Angela are in good health after dealing with breast cancer was so happy to hear. What an amazing group of women! Your story is so inspirational and I thank you and Jeffrey Zaslow for sharing. What would we do without our girlfriends, our sisters by choice???

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