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.
(304) Jane
Fri, 13 November 2009 20:08:09 +0000

I just finished this book and it made me realize how much I treasure my best and dearest friend from my childhood who I am lucky enough to still have in my life. Thank you for a beautiful story that totally touched my heart. God bless you all! From another Iowa girl

(303) Gloria Adler Benamy
Fri, 6 November 2009 17:49:13 +0000

I will be attending a reunion of 11 girls from Hattiesburg, Mississippi- class of 1957.
We are the Big Ten plus One and have been
getting together for Lunch many times over the past 50 plus years . I too am the only Jewish one. Many fond memories, but different from the Girls from Ames as they are much younger than us .

(302) Diane Freeman
Fri, 6 November 2009 01:19:34 +0000

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and have passed it on to so many friends. Since graduating from high school 42 yrs. ago I have sustained a friendship by mail with one of my friends. Over the years we have never gotten together - she is in SC and I live in CT. We have written about our marriage, pregnancies, childhood of our children, along with their teen years. All of this has been shared by writing each other and never loosing touch. We truly feel that our adolescent years were so valuable in creating our friendship, and cherish those times in our life.

Hopefully there will be a second book following the lives of the Ames girls. I look forward to it, and will once again recommend it to all of those close to m

(301) Cathy Clement
Tue, 3 November 2009 03:26:25 +0000

Just finished book. Enjoyed learning about the friendships.
I am a high school graduate of a small town in Alabama. We have a group of nine girls who get together every four months for lunch. We are not as close as the girls in the book, but some of us have been friends since four years old. We graduated from high school in 1960. We will celebrate our 50th class reunion next year with classes from 1944 or before.

(300) Tim Shey
Mon, 2 November 2009 18:24:59 +0000

Today I hitchhiked from Gillette to Buffalo, Wyoming. I went to the library here in Buffalo and saw your book "The Girls From Ames" by Jeffrey Zaslow. I have just skimmed through it; it looks very good.

I used to live in Ames for a number of years. I finished high school at Ames High School in 1978--I did two months of night school there. I am originally from Algona, Iowa. I later graduated from Iowa State University in 1995 with a degree in English Literature. I worked at Hanson Lumber in Ames for a number of years and later worked at Harold Pike Construction Company for a while.

I have been hitchhiking the United States for most of thirteen years now. I had a short story and two poems published in Ethos Magazine and I had a book published in December 2008: "High Plains Drifter: A Hitchhiking Journey Across America."

I just thought that it was such a pleasant surprise to see your book here at the library in Buffalo, Wyoming.

Take care and God bless you.

(299) lizzy
Tue, 27 October 2009 15:19:08 +0000

I finished the book in flight yesterday while travelling home across the country back to Northern California where I live. Zooming over the midwest I imagined that I was looking down onto Milwaukee, Wisconsin which is where my oldest and dearest BFF lives. So much of what the Ames girls have experienced deeply resonated with me. Kerry and I have not lived in the same state since 1979 (the year my daughter was born) yet our friendship has been a deep and lasting one throughout the past 30 years. No one else can ever know me, accept me and love me unconditionally the way Kerry does. The same is true for her, I am sure.
Thank you Mr. Zaslow for writing this book. I am passing it on to my daughter as it's next reader. (She already has a core group of women friends she has known since junior high and high school!)

(298) Carmelita De La Cruz
Tue, 27 October 2009 02:06:54 +0000

I enjoyed reading the book. It was given to me by my co-worker who had been my friend now for 31 years. But, the friends that it has lots of similarity with this story are my 11 childhood from back home, Manila Philippines. I came to the States @ age 17 years old to follow the rest of my family to migrate to CA. There were no e-mails growing up, telephone back home is expensive. To keep in touch was very minimal. I was so young that writing letters was limited due to being busy in College, working and adapting to my new home which was a culture shock to begin with. I related to the book in regards to our childhood activities and sharing thoughts. We lived in the same neighborhood but went to different Catholic private schools. As natural for our ages, we had friends from the neighborhoods and schoolmate friends. But, my friends in the neighborhood were the constant fixtures in my growing life. We organized a dance sequel during a campaign of one of the girl's political events. We were also identified as based on our parents' professions. My parents are CPA and educator. Wilda & Estrell's mother was a physician and so on. Since there was no cars to honk the horns, We make a yelling distinct sound to indicate that the girls are outside picking you up for a walk, biking or to go to church. Some of us were choir members and those who were not tended to make "fun" to those who were singing. The boys from the neighborhood knew of us since we called ourselves STARLETTES. Now that we are all grown up, there are 5 of us living in Southern CA; 1 in Australia, 1 in New Jersey and the rest stayed back home. All of us are professionals and educated-social workers, attorneys, physicians, teachers and running their own bus. When we were young, we knew that we would complete college but never thoought we would be apart living across the ocean. When some of the girls travels to the States, Wilda the forever president would always set up a reunion even just for a day, dinner in order to see each other before the girls return back home to the Phil. And eveytime we get together, it seems that we were never been apart. We supported each other thru cancer, divorces and lost of a husband. Thank you for the lovely book and sharing your life with us. I can relate...

(297) Barbie
Mon, 26 October 2009 02:21:54 +0000

I have a photo of girls in our kindergarten class from Grant School in Mission Hills (San
Diego). The majority of us went to high school
together, and still remain in contact, some
by email. One has passed away, and a very close friend (my locker partner) has only hours
before she passes.
My childhood friend Sandra, and I still remain
very close no matter what country she has been
living in. Our mothers were friends during their grammar school days.
I too am adopted. Met my biological father when I was 52 (I was his only child), so was able to get my bio family history, as well become acquainted with a half sister, and an aunt just 2 years younger than I am. People are fascinated when I relate my two families.
I've been blessed and challenged! I had always day-dreamed I would find my bio father, as I grew up knowing he had such a very hard time giving me up for adoption. The bio mom decided she didn't want to be married and left us when I was 3 months old.
I could relate to the Girls from Ames, their love and friendship, the sadness, and the very strong connections and support they have
for one another.
Barbie aka Diane Marie Fouwuette

(296) Joanna
Sat, 24 October 2009 17:59:15 +0000

I am almost finished with the book. A client passed the book to me, knowing of the friendships I have with a group of girls from elementry school. Reading this book has been bittersweet. It has been a journey. At times I have cried- and othersd felt like these were my friends. I can identify with so many of their thouhgts and feelings. My group is made up of roughly 8 girls from grammar school. There have been others that have come and gone over the years. There can be a weird dynamic in my group. I have felt very close to many of my group over the years, for various reasons we connect at a certain time. However recently something happened that hurt me deep in my soul. There has always been sub cliques with in this group. There has always been dramas. But this was at a time in my life that made me question if I could still keep these friendships. I think thats why I have been re examining my life in and outside of my group.
Thank you - all of you for giving me such a full account of your lives. I want to know more!

(295) Toni Passarello
Sat, 24 October 2009 15:54:46 +0000

Hi Jeff,
At first I wasn't so taken with your book,but since I have 5 lifelong friends I stuck with it.I'm really glad I did. I am a teacher and don't get much time to read for pleasure. I happened to be home sick , so I was able to read the book in big chunks. Once I was "into" the book and the girls' lives, I couldn't put it down. I had a lump in my throat for most of it and laughed through my tears.
This past summer, my girlfriends and I went to France to celebrate the fact that we are all turning 60 in 2009. This is the first time we have been together for an extended period of time . We were together for two full weeks. We got ot share all the fun times, but we also talked together about the tragedies we've had.There are no divorces in our group,which is amazing. Howver, three of the girls are widows.They've lost their husbands to heart attack at 50, the World Trade Center(9-11), and lung cancer.We live in NY, MA,NJ, and PA. We grew up together in Woodside,Queens ,NY. Some are friends met at 3,others in kindergarten,and all of us went to St. Mary's Catholic grammar School.I can relate to a lot of the lives of the Ames girls, yet our story is very differnt too.
I have thought about writing a magazine article about our trip and our friendships.Someone on the river cruise we were on suggested your book to me. The other people on the ship called us "The Girls".At 60 , we didn't mind.We know we're women, but we are also girls at heart.When we are together, we certainly feel like girls again.
Thanks for letting me share in women's friendships. I have always cherished mine.I'm going to recommend your book to my other Woodside friends.

(294) Tina C.
Sat, 24 October 2009 15:21:10 +0000

Just finished reading the book---strangely enough, my HUSBAND brought it home from the library! Didn't seem like his sort of thing, but he enjoyed it enough to suggest I read it as well. Jeffrey Zaslow has really succeeded in capturing so much of what is unique and important in female friendships. I wasn't lucky enough to have so big a group to support me or hang out with in my early years---mine was a group of 4, but it was great--and I recognized so many similarities in the Ames girl's experiences with each other. Only one of that group and I are still close; close in a way I can never quite be with any of my other, later, friends. I think one of the reasons is that she is one of the few people left around who knew me as a child, and I her. That holds a special place, I think---someone who knows the ESSENTIAL YOU. I think that is one of the many messages of the Ames Girls book, and a valuable one.
One of my own daughters, aged 19, grew up with a large wonderful group of girls (9)in our hometown, a friendship that dates back to kindergarten-- these days that is becoming more and more rare, and I envy her for it, as did many kids in her high school. Sadly, something peculiarly "mean girl" crept into the "Fine Nine's" makeup like a poison after their first year of college, and for reasons that have yet to be revealed, 2 of the girls have been "shunned" (can't think of a better word),which was devastating to them; and since my daughter was closest to those two, she, too, has been nudged out of the group. No explanation! Even when confronted! Girls are, simply, awful to each other sometimes!!! My theory is that something got out of control in the dynamic of the group. It hurts me to sit by and see that, but Laura is a big girl now and she has a wonderful group of friends at college to "fall back on" in addition to the other two "shunned" girls. My hope is that some day, the Fine Nine will gradually let bygones be bygones, whatever the cause was, and become close again. The story of the intervention and Sally rang so, so, true!! And left the comfort that maybe "this, too, shall pass"---which is the message I gave my daughter; I think it's the right one. Hope all is well with Kelly and Angela, and I am happy that Karla is loving her life in Montana. Thanks for such an insightful book!

(293) Michele H
Sat, 24 October 2009 13:22:06 +0000

Wow! What a wonderful story ladies! Jeffrey Zaslow does it again! He seems to be the only man that can make me cry ;)

I feel like I have made ten (10) new friends, actually eleven (11) old friends including Sheila.

I am 44 years old, and grew up in the Berkshires with a similar situation with my group of girlfriends. I felt I really could relate to the story of the Ames girls. The story brought back so many memories.

I look forward to reading the updates. Best wishes to Kelly & Angela during your healing process. I too have had my run in with the nasty C word. Continue your brave fight girls!

Best wishes,

P.S. Next time you're in the Berkshires, if you haven't already, you ladies should hike Monument Mountain in Great Barrington, MA. It's just one of the most beautiful hiking spots in Berkshire County!

(292) Nikki
Thu, 22 October 2009 20:38:05 +0000

I just finished reading the book yesterday and absolutely ENJOYED it!

I am not good friends with classmates from elementary school or high school anymore, but I made friends with a wonderful group in college back in 1998. The 4 of us are still buds to this day and like the Ames girls we are scattered around. We attended College of the Ozarks. I was the only one in the group from Missouri and I lived about 35 minutes away so my friends and I would spend time with my family on some weekends. My friends were from Kansas, Arkansas, and Minesota. I am still the only one that remains in Missouri while the others are in Arkansas, Mineapolis and one friend moved clear to the west coast to Seattle. All four of us have not been all together as a group since 2003 but 2-3 of us hhave been able to get together time to time. Reading the book made me think of my wonderful friends, how we are like sisters and the fun times and hardships we had together. Two friends are now married with kids and I see how we are all changing. So I hope that we continue to be great friends over the years. We call, text, and email quite often. The book is a great reminder how lucky we are to have our friends in our lives.

(291) Melissa
Tue, 20 October 2009 19:57:46 +0000

I rcvd this book as a birthday gift from my best friend. While our "group" is just the 2 of us we have been friends for 40 years! The story begins with our grandmothers,on to our mothers, and now us. I am thankful for her everyday. I wish I were with her now.

(290) laura johnson
Mon, 19 October 2009 15:40:49 +0000

i LOVED your book and enjoyed every minute of reading it. in fact, it made me a little sad that although i knew a lot of people in high school (my graduating class had just over 1000 students), i was as close as your group was with very few of them. in fact, the only person i am in contact with on a regular basis is a guy. I read karla's story with particular interest. you see on what was probably one of the happiest days of her life, 1-9-90 when her daughter christie was born, was the worst in my own life. my son sean who was 12 at the time was diagnosed with ewing's sarcoma, a very rare bone cancer, on that date. but unlike karla's story, mine did have a happy ending. my son survived with his leg intact although he opted to have it amputated a few years ago due severe nerve damage and pain when he was 29. Thanks for such a good read. laura johnson

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