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.
(154) sara gastman
Sun, 28 June 2009 21:11:08 +0000

I just got through reading the book and the similarities to my group of friends is amazing. Where we differ is in our ages We all will be 74 this year and our growing up years were in Ponca City Ok. Our group has been to all the reunions of our class.We graduated in 1953 and of course have had our 50th. The book brought back such emotions both smiles and tears. I drag out all the pictures of us in our youth and progress to the present. Thanks for writing this book and if you ever pick our decade please look us up/Sara Lee Gastman

(153) Susan Schroeder
Sun, 28 June 2009 06:25:41 +0000

I have just completed reading this wonderful book and am delighted to have experienced in several different ways. I also enjoyed the Wisconsin Public Radio interview several weeks ago.

I was the Science and Math teacher at St. Cecilia's in Ames 1970-1974, while my husband was an Anthropology student under Dr. Gradwohl at ISU. We continue to correspond with them. It was especially wonderful to hear how Jane has used her educational background as a career, but also to support her the needs of others in her life.

I do know that I would have worked with the girls there as we were such a small school. I remember having the teacher work with students using the I Wonder, I Wonder book for a special lesson in sex education. That was all such a new piece in education at that time. I laughed when I read of the response the girls had on their walk home. Teachers, especially of elementary students, are curious as to how the information is assimilated by the students.

I so enjoyed learning from these women and reflecting on my own experiences in life as I have lived in Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin along with growing up with my own friends. I must say that in each of moves, it was vital to find women friends to support my journey of life.

I too have served as a friend support to someone who died of breast cancer. Even that could not be done alone, but needed other women friends to work though the years of support. Women are vital to each other.

Thank you for a wonderful read! It is thrilling for a teacher to read about the children they worked with to learn what wonderful people they have become. Each small community that is made has unique individuals who together comprise a beautiful bond of people.

I will continue to monitor your website and keep praying for Angela as she continues her journey through that ugly cancer!

(152) Marianne
Sun, 28 June 2009 05:32:30 +0000

My son gifted me this book for Mother's Day because he said it reminded him of my lifelong friends. I am one of 7 high school friends (2 of us go back to 6th grade). We have gone from calling ourselves the Golden Girls to the Ya-Ya's and now have settled into being the Mag 7 (Magnificent 7 like the 1960 movie with Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen) and we wear matching Tiffany bracelets engraved with M7, 50th birthday presents to each other. All of us live within 30 minutes of each other in Illinois; one lives out west. The local girls meet monthly for dinners and the 7th friend joins us annually for our girls' weekend in August. This book reminds me of the Mag 7. In reading it I would see one of my friends in one of the Ames girls/women.

But as I neared the end of the book and read how Kelly then Angela were diagnosed with breast cancer, the women of Ames became the women of DGS. Our stories are the of my friends was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy and then just 7 months later the 2nd of the Mag 7 was diagnosed with breast cancer undergoing a mastectomy, turning our worlds upside down.

The Mag 7 have bonded over shared meals, cosmos, shopping, laughter, dancing....cancer. We are each other's strength, support and sister!

(151) Cheryl Lister
Sat, 27 June 2009 12:50:12 +0000

I just finished reading The Girls From Ames and it so reminded me of the friendships I have with 7 women who grew up together in Marion,Ohio. Several of us have been friends since we were 5 and we're now 63.We travel together,attend special events, and get together several times a year. In August we are headed to our 45th class reunion from Marion Harding High School. One thing that caught my eye in the text was that with the girls I never have to explain. We refer to ourselves as the Ya Yas now, but my father, now deceased, always called us the girls, no matter how old we were. The book brought back so many wonderful memories of our forever friendships.I have recommended the title to all the girls.

(150) Eileen Sieger
Fri, 26 June 2009 20:37:07 +0000

I just finished reading The Girls from Ames. It was a Mother's Day present from my daughter. She purchased it knowing I would identify with it as there are 8 of us "forever friends." But we are 65 and 66 years old now! Most have known each other since kindergarten. Two of us joined the group in 7th grade. We had a round robin letter for years and next month are going to take another trip together to Colorado. We have been doing this for a number of years. There is so much value as the book says in these wonderful, long-lasting friendships! Thanks for doing this book!

(149) Rita Leid pro. LEED
Fri, 26 June 2009 20:17:50 +0000

WOW! I am really envious of these women!

I was the type of kid, (and am that same type of woman), who has few CLOSE friends.

I keep in touch with 3 women from my childhood; one that was my age; the other two one year older, and a neighbor; and the third, 6 yrs. older and a neighbor as well.

I've been trying for years (without success)
to locate several of my other friends from high school.
They are the gals I would have been writing about, in a book like this! I had just
always thought we would be forever friends,
but, for some reason that was not to be!

I must tell you though, about the one good friend I am in contact with!

In high school, Sherry and I were Best Buds!
I introduced her to a guy I knew, and they started dating, which was ok with me.
As they dated and fought with each other,
he started coming by my house to vent about their problems. Well, of course, one thing led to the next and we started to date, only
SECRETLY!! WHAT A MESS I was in now!!
Our friendship ended very badly & quickly! (More's the pity!)

Well, he and I ended up parting ways; they got back together; she got pregnant by him.
She & I fought nastily one day, about whether or not they would marry!!!!
They did not! She had and kept their son, and raised him with tons of help from her parents!

Well, eventually he & I married!!!!
For 16 years! After which, I became VERY
happily divorced! LOL!!!!

With the invention of computers, I decided
to attempt locating all of my former HS buddies, (via &
to no avail! Until Oct. 2005!! Sherry had listed herself on classmates! FINALLY!!!!
So, I sent her an Email, asking if she would be interested in renewing a long~lost friendship? She said YES!! I was thrilled!
So, we began writing each other, via EM's, and at first, it was a lot of painful venting of truth~letting, and questions that neither of us wanted to ask or answer, but did! It was hard, but well worth it.

In early 2006 I mentioned that we were driving to Oregon that summer, and would she be interested in meeting face~to~face?
Once again, the girl said yes! We both had a lot of nervy~ness, that was not even there, 37 years ago! (Wish it had been!)
So, after leaving my Mom's, in Medford, OR, we went to visit Sherry in Riverside, CA!
OMG!!!!!! I am so very glad we did!
It was like we had never been apart from each other! We acted just as crazy as we had in HS days! (WE STILL DO!!!!) LOL!!!
Oh, sure, there were some stiff moments of
talking about 'HIM', but, once we cleared the air, and got 'HIM' out of the way, we
were best buddies again, before we left her house!
Recently, we have both been going through a lot of medical issues, (she, tons more than I;) and we have been there for each other!!
She writes letters, (snail~mail), I EM more often. We also call each other, whenever something MAJOR comes up; we are both great comforts to each other, as well as GREATLY comforted by the other! I LOVE HER LIKE A SISTER AGAIN!!!!!

We are still those two high schoolers from Mayfair High, in Lakewood, CA!

So, thank you all so very much for this book! It was a terrific read, and will always hold a place of honor and warmth,
in both my bookshelf and my heart!


Oh, by the way: Several weeks ago, I was a willing and able~bodied participant in the
local Relay For Life Walk, put on by the ACS. I kept you all in my heart as I walked!
Most especially you three: Karla, Angela, and Kelly. I am so glad you all have each other, but, MOST especially that YOU THREE HAVE EACH OTHER!

Much love and
many blessings,

Rita Leid

(148) Katie
Thu, 25 June 2009 20:51:08 +0000

I eyed the book for about 2 weeks in Target and am glad I finally bought it! I have a group of 6 girlfriends I've know from middle school on. We all graduated in 2000 from an all girls Catholic school in Memphis, TN and have stayed best friends after college. We have friends we made in college as well, but its not the same. Right now everyone is married, getting married, hoping to get married (ha). It's exciting to see us grow together and this book made me value our friendship even more and realize the importance of keeping it up after we enter the next phase of life involvng husbands and kids. By the way, the boyfriends/husbands in our group have most all come together as great friends as well instead of the girls being pulled into the guys lives and friends! Thanks for writing this book and thanks to the girls for sharing their stories!

(147) Karen Rogers
Thu, 25 June 2009 18:48:29 +0000

I really enjoyed the book! I am older than the Ames Girls, (high school class of '68), but feel like we have so much in common! I would love to meet them all. I have a few girlfriend groups from different times in my life and I love each and everyone of them - we take trips together, have reunions,celebrate birthdays, etc. I hope there is another book in a few years so that we can be updated on everything in the Ames Girls lives. I wanted to know more about the ones who didn't have as much written about them as some of the others. Thanks again for such a wonderful read!

(146) Becky
Thu, 25 June 2009 01:42:48 +0000

Hello--I was just given this book to read by a friend. While I was reading the book, I was drawn to the name Marilyn; her story seemed so familiar. After perusing my old albums, I found that Marilyn and I worked at Snow Mt. Ranch in Colorado in 1982. Small world---I haven't finished the book but I had to reach out to one of the girls!
It truly is a "sisterhood" book!! We all can live and bond with these women that have walked different roads but tell the similar stories to which we all relate!! I would love to hear from Marilyn! Becky

(145) Paula
Wed, 24 June 2009 23:33:24 +0000

Loved it! Read it in 2 days. I grew up in northern IL and had a lot of family in IA, Lake Okoboji is one of my favorite places to visit in the summer. I've had 5 close friends since jr high and even when we can't get together, there is always a comofort and closeness that can't be matched. I have been blessed with another close knit group of girlfriends in AZ for the past 9 years - and we are lucky that our husbands love eachother as well. Thank you for this tribute to women's friendships. I feel like I have 10 new friends now! Angela and Kelly, I'll think of you on my next Susan B. Komen race - keep fighting!

(144) alice vockell
Tue, 23 June 2009 21:19:13 +0000

I loved your book and will be leaving for Dayton, Ohio, tomorrow for the 44th "Council Gathering." We are now five (our beloved Pat passed away several years ago)and continue to get together every year even though we are now in Texas, Tennessee, Indiana, and Dayton and Cincinnati, Ohio. We started working together in 1965 and started with a Christmas Progressive Dinner. After moves and grandchildren we decided that Christmas was no longer a good time to gather so we have changed from a one-night Progressive Dinner (that would start at about 5 p.m. one evening and end around noon the next day) to our annual Council Gathering that is now about four days long. We've shared joys and sorrows, have a Council cookbook, and have various parodies of songs that could make a Council songbook. Long ago we established ourselves as "The Council" and all have various "official" titles. Our Historian is the official keeper of our history, and we yearly grade ourselves on "The Voelpel Scale of Happiness." The Council husbands understand, and our children are official Councilettes who all have special engraved silver baby cups proclaiming them as such. Email and Skype enable us to keep in touch; and when we do gather, we pick up right where we left off. I am blessed to have these wonderful women in my life. With apologies to you, each of them will receive a gift of your book from me (renamed "The Girls from Cincy")that I hope they will enjoy reading as much as I did. Thank you for getting to the heart of such special bonds.

(143) Bethany
Mon, 22 June 2009 02:30:46 +0000

I picked up your book today while I was at Border's in Ames and was immediately engrossed. My family bought Marilyn's old house on Woodland Street in 1997! I lived there from the time I was in 5th grade until I was nineteen and I am told that the MacCormick's lived there til the mid to late 1960s. I have since graduated from ISU and moved to Des Moines to be a teacher, but was in town for Father's Day. I began talking with my parents about the house as I read the book. It sounds like Dr. MacCormick was as well-received in the Ames community as the book details. When my mom and dad bought the house many people told them stories about how the house used to belong to a very respected pediatrician. We were told that the MacCormick's moved up the street from us, but I am not sure if that is true. Another interesting fact: apparently my great aunt Lorainne made the MacCormick's curtains! It was so fun to read the book in my parent's house and think about the family who lived there before me. Thank you for that gift!

(142) Kathy Allen
Mon, 22 June 2009 02:01:24 +0000

This book is a treasure. Will put it right next to my all time favorite Little Women.
Oprah should do this one. think of the topics!

Thanks so much. Am meeting with high school friends next week in Muscatine Iowa.
class of 1965. turn 62 next week.

(141) Susie
Sun, 21 June 2009 22:30:10 +0000

I started and finished it while on a girls weekend with frineds from Iowa. We call ourselves the "Idiots Out Wandering Around" - thankfully one of us now lives in Princeton to help us navigate NYC! We bonded in Pella as "outsiders" and have remained loyal friends through moving, job changes, teenagers, and lots of chardonnay. 3 remain in Iowa to keep us grounded.

I couldn't put it down and am VERY glad Iowa is on my list of places I have lived, or I never would have found these awesome women.

(140) Sharon Fadler Frankel
Fri, 19 June 2009 15:57:44 +0000

We are a group of eight long-term friends who graduated from Raytown High School, Raytown, MO, in 1972. We were struck by the many similarities among our group to the Ames girls.

We refer to ourselves as the Raytown Porch Girls, as we have met annually for a weekend on the "porch" of one of our own. The friendships amongst the group have continued to evolve over time, some of us getting closer to friends we knew less well in our youth. Within this group, we are 15 years old again, and are loved and supported no matter what. We've been through boyfriends, husbands, infertility, divorces, cancer, loss of spouse, the angst of raising teenage children, and the joy of welcoming grandchildren. We can tell each other anything and often we do. Among our many actitivies during our girls' weekend, we have danced on the porch, we tell stories, drink wine, shopped at the local boutique or antiques stores, and catch up. It helps us to know that there are people who like us; love us; who don't know us as wives or mothers or co-workers--but just as the "girls" we once were and still are.

As we mailed around to each of the Porch Girls and read your book, much like a sisterhood of the traveling book, it was fun, but not surprising to us to read about the importance of friendships in women's lives through the ages.

So, Mr. Zaslow, we invite you to a porch weekend. You will find us witty, charming, intelligent, accomplished, attractive and, of course, humble. Email us to find out the date of our next Porch Girls weekend.

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