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.
(214) Nichole
Fri, 31 July 2009 19:07:31 +0000

I just finished the book. It was wonderfully written. I loved how it was written and I felt like I was actually a part of the story. I could feel the pain, the joy, the laughter that was shared. everything.

my friends are wonderful. I am a typically shy person, and don't like sharing my secrets or anything like that to anyone. But I have a few friends that I can talk to and tell just about anything to.

I just graduated from highschool.I know my friends will always be here. Y'alls story totally touched me, and it helps me appreciate my friends even more.

Thanks Ames Girls!!!!!

(213) Kim
Fri, 31 July 2009 00:46:59 +0000

This is an amazing book. I am 45. I have three girls ages 21, 19 and 12! I too, am from Iowa (Des Moines actually) and thought that reading a true story that took place close to where I grew up would be interesting to say the least. This book reminded me a lot of my own life and how it has changed over the years (what was important than isn't as important now). These girls are all amazing. I love how they made the fund for Shelia to honor her...This book made me cry but at times, made me laugh. When I got to the part towards the end where Angela says, "We should just build the Shit Sisters Retirement sides hurt from laughing. Awesome book and well worth the read. Thank you to all of the girls for letting us in on part of your lives and thank you Jeffrey for writing this book!

(212) Connie
Thu, 30 July 2009 19:18:42 +0000

Thought the book was great! I graduated from a very small school in Norhtern Illinois (Thomson) in 1974. There were only 33 in our graduating class, of the 15 girls, 6 of us get together once a year too.
Patti, who lives in Iowa City now, sent us all an email and suggested we get the book.
One major difference in us is we didn't travel that far away, 2 are in Iowa, 1 in the suburbs of Chicago and the rest still very close to Thomson, so for less than a tank of gas we can get together. We also have a fellow classmate who now lives in Arizona, and keeps in contact with most of us via emails. Also our parents were farmers or factory workers, with only 8th grade or high school educations, All of us went on to get at least some college, with 2 now having Masters degrees.
I liked the statement "women do things face to face, men do things side by side, that's why our friendships differ". It is so true, I really think my husband could go thru life with me as his only true friend, not me, I need the friendship of women!!!!

(211) Louise Levinson
Thu, 30 July 2009 15:57:41 +0000

My husband and I have a fifty-year friendship with another COUPLE! We met in Munich, Germany, in December 1959, when both husbands were 1st Lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Our first-born daughters were the same age and played together. The friendship continued as both men continued military careers. Although the children (they went on to have five; we had two) had little in common, their #4 (son) met our #2 (daughter)at the wedding of their #3 in 1987. They began dating immediately and married in 1989. Subsequently, they provided us with two wonderful, mutual, granddaughters. This solidified the friendship! I consider her my "sister" and the husbands are like "brothers." We plan a celebration of our 50 years of friendship this December!

(210) Patricia Vermillion
Wed, 29 July 2009 18:07:37 +0000

Hi Jeffery,

I just wrote an article for the May 2009 edition of Mississippi magazine. The section "on being southern" Mississippi's 'goula belles". This article is about 9 girls who formed a relationship, a few at birth, some in elementary school, and the rest came to be in middle school. In high school we called ourselves THE FRUITS OF '63. We later changed our names to the GOULA BELLES. (wonder why?) I have been writing notes of our experiences for about 6 years now. And when one of my friends brought your book The Girls from Ames to one of our get-together in Natchitoches, Louisiana, I was so flabbergasted, I about fainted. Now, my book has already been written! Our experiences were much different from the Ames girls, since we are all from the deep south where they eat fried green tomatoes and such. Our lives have taken us to different states, but our hearts BELONG ON THE MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST. Southern friendships are distinctive, as the 'Goula Belles long established in their hometown of Pascagoula. The Belles savor the passion of Southern friendship and the Mississippi way of life!

Just a tip! If you have not traveled to our last destination, Natchitoches, La, you must go during the holiday season. The oldest town in Louisiana where the Steel Magnolias was filmed, has a wonderful display of Christmas light up and down the Cane River with little white steaming stands along the river selling HOT crawfish and meat pies! Yum!

(209) Karen
Tue, 28 July 2009 14:04:30 +0000

I just finished reading the book and could not help but remember my "girlfriends" growing up. There were nine of us in a small neighborhood (yes, the boys were out numbered!). We too grew up in the 70's and 80's with large flowers, bell bottom pants, shag hair cuts (and the feathered look)and had loves of David Cassidy, Jackson 5, Donny Osmond...We had stories of friendship and togetherness (and of course mischief). Our neighborhood was special and times were different back then...these are the friends that lasted. We did attend two different high schools but when we returned home each day to our neighborhood, we were as one. We are also in our forties now and living in different states but still maintain a special bond. We too have been through heartaches and "bumpy" roads but we all know we are all there for each other and that alone is a great source of comfort. some of us email and see each other at different occasions. We have all gathered together each year for a "dinner reunion" and each time it is comforting conversation picking up where we left off...just like we have never been apart. We have not all gathered in awhile and after reading this book it is time to organize another "date"....thanks for the memories and inspiration on "true friendships"...I will be calling girls!

(208) Julee Cormier
Sun, 26 July 2009 02:37:09 +0000

Wow, what a great book. I picked it up while shopping one day and couldn't put it down after I got started reading it. I too have had the pleasure of having friends who I started school with back in 1963, in a small Louisiana town called Kinder (not kind but kender sound) we all graduated in 1975 and have managed to stay friends after all these years. This book made me think of all the fun times my classmates and I have shared through the years. While these women have been smart enough to work through the differences each of them might have our group of 15 have split for now and while we all still talk, we don't have reunion trips every year like before our trip to NYC in 2000. But they are still all very dear to me and I hope that our 35th high school reunion will be a great one. Loved the book and saw many of my friends and myself in the Girls of Ames.

(207) Amber Charleston
Sat, 25 July 2009 23:14:18 +0000

Just finished this wonderful book and am about to give to my best friend Amy. We were both born and raised in Ames, Iowa until we moved to California together after we graduated Ames High School in 2004. My girlfriends and I growing up were simply known as "the girls" amongst our parents. We are all in our early twenties now and have grown closer and further apart in many different way. Reading this book made me realize how important it is to hold onto those friendships, because they are truly a defining part of becoming a well rounded woman,friend, mother and wife.
I felt myself brought to tears just reminiscing about the locations like cemetary hill, the hospital we were all born at, brookside park, detassling and partying in the cornfields because I now reside in Ca which could not be more different than Iowa. I have never read something that gives me an explanation why I am so proud of where I come from. Being the different generation of the girls from Ames starting high school in the year 2000, it's amazing how identical so many of the situations and the impact of growing up in the "plastic oasis" known as Ames were throughout the sociological, technilogical changes the dynamics were all the same. Leaving home was hard for me, I am now married in California and attending culinary school. My best friend moved with me and we are happier than ever. Many of our friends still live in Ames, or Minnesota and scattered. This book made me realize that little bumps in the road as friends are just that when your looking down a road 40 years long.
Thank you girls from Ames, from another girl from Ames for being so honest and sharing your lives. Friendship is the greatest gift.
I feel as if I am part of an exclusive club. I am from Ames, Iowa and not ohio, idaho or anywhere else thank you very much :)

(206) Chelsea Agent
Fri, 24 July 2009 23:57:27 +0000

I just finished reading "The Girls from Ames," and was deeply touched. I am a 20 year old college sophomore, and have an extraordinary group of friends. Some of us have been bonded since birth, and have all stayed so close through the years. We still continue to have sleepovers and plan events regularly. We have a constant email system similar to the Ames girls but we do it via facebook. We are a unique group of girls because when we were 13 years old a member of our tight knit group died of Neuroblastoma after battling her cancer since age 3. We were all at the hospital that night, wrapped in blankets made by our beautiful friend Tori. We still visit the cemetary when we all get together, and even though she isn't there she is always a part of conversation and our thoughts. I love my friends, and the incredible support they have given me and I know will for the rest of my life.

(205) Sue
Fri, 24 July 2009 22:20:24 +0000

I loved the book! Thanks you for sharing you story. I laughed and cried!
I have lived in Ames for the last 19 years, but I grew up in Minnesota. I married an Ames boy(class of '86)and he still is very close to his childhood friends.
I was back in Minnesota for my 20th reunion back in 2005. There is something special and unique about the people you grow up with. Whenever I get together with old High School friends it is easy and fun to be around each other.
I am lucky to have one on my friends from childhhood here in town. We don't get to see each other that often because of work, kids, etc. But there is a sense of security in having such a close friend near by.
I live by Jeff Mann,so next time I see him mowing his lawn I think I will stop and ask him when his next kegger in the corn field is. LOL In Iowa we don't have to go to far to find one, actually only a couple of blocks away!

(204) Michelle Stroupe
Fri, 24 July 2009 00:32:22 +0000

I just finished reading your book and it was a pleasure to read. I too have wonderful friends in my life and I feel truly blessed for each and everyone of them. One in particular has been in my life since 7th grade. I am also a 18 year breast cancer survivor. So,to Kelly and Angela I wish you the best and my prayers are with you! Thank you for sharing your life's stories with the world of women and their friends!!

(203) sharyl kennedy
Wed, 22 July 2009 06:56:44 +0000

How are you gals? I hope Kelly and Angela are doing well. Thank you for your honesty and remembering all the important things to share with others about your relationships, families and bonds. Your stories are inspiring.

I am in Italy visiting my three granddaughter and seeing thme play with thier friends here while my son is in the Navy, I hope they can form lasting friendships even though they are moving around ever three years.

Warm regards,


(202) Sharyl Kennedy
Wed, 22 July 2009 06:49:07 +0000

I have eleven friend taht get together twice a year. We started school at Immaculate Conception High School, Elmhurst, Illinois in 1959 and graduated in 1962. Eight of us also went to grade school together. Our stories so ring out like the Ames Girls. Our love is deep, our laughs are many and we will soon meet in Michigian at Donna's summer home. To hear more about these crazy, fun loving, marvelous women who turn 65 this year, contact me.

Sharyl Kennedy

(201) Teresa
Tue, 21 July 2009 11:51:45 +0000

I too sent an email to a "few" of my friends. This is the email and a couple extra comments.

hi everyone!

I am reading this book right now, actually I cannot put it down. its called "The girls from Ames".
Its about 11 girlfriends who have been friends for 40+ years. They graduated together in 1981 (MY age , and yes some of yours too!). This book has sparked more than a few memories.

(I then wrote here something persoanl to all 15 friends I sent this too)

So even though we all have not been friends for 40+ years (ok , except carriage friend...and now really getting close to grade school friend), But This book, The Girls from Ames, is a story really pointing out how women all connect with their grilfriends , maybe not on a daily basis, or even weekly basis, hell I haven't seen some of you in months or even YEARS !
You all may or may not know each other, but i know all of you. and I miss seeing all of you on any kind of regular basis.

So if you are like me , and have any extra hours this summer, pick up this book, and read it. Or better yet, lets all get together , one at a time, 5 or even , wow , how many are there ? 15!
Who's driving ????

And these are the woman , who have been important to me. There are a few more NOT in cyberspace, but as important to me as well. A GNO,(that;s a grils night out girl) and a neighbor as well.

Have a great day , hope to talk soon

the responses I got back were amazing. One even made me cry because I made HER day! Thanks girl from Ames.

(200) Samantha
Tue, 21 July 2009 02:20:37 +0000

I just read your book and I fell absolutely in love, not only because it is an amazing tale of women and friendship, but it reminds me so much of my friends and I. We are a group of 5 girls who have been best friends since freshman year of high school. We call each other the Lambies (God knows why) and they are the absolute reason I am who I am today.

We are only 19 years old, just finished our first year at different colleges all across the country.

We always say we will be friends forever and though I always did believe it, your book has allowed me to actually see our future together as adults.

Thank you for your beautiful story.

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