Created for women to celebrate the journey, romance the soul, fuel the visual senses, and connect with those who have journeyed before us. 
Joy Kuby



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July 2007
Host:  Kathy Hoffman

FRIENDS—the name of this book club creatively stands for "Friends Reading Interesting, Educational Novels and Dumb Stuff."

I originally met Kathy when she stopped by my booth last fall at the Deep Valley Book Festival in Mankato.  It was an honor to now meet with her and her "Friends" to discuss the women's stories in The Fortunate Four.  We met around the large conference table at the beautiful meeting room in the Traverse Des Sioux Library System.  The table was covered with old photos and memorabilia brought in by the groupwedding photos, war-time photos, a receipt for one year of college tuition for $35, were amongst the mix.  Kathy had put a fruit bowl of oranges and bananas in the center of the table and xeroxed $1 bills and change to equal $2.50 by each place to symbolize the allotted daily allowance for the 1935 road trip of the Fortunate Four. 

Our discussion included the journey of how this book came to be a reality.  With a wide array of ages in our group, there were also some very interesting "how we met our mate" stories shared.  Our discussion and time of laughter came to an ending too quickly.  We wrapped up the evening with a fabulous chocolate dessert and coffee, followed by group photos.  What a wonderful evening and opportunity to honor the women who have traveled before us.

Enjoy some of the Friends' comments:

My favorite story was Emil and Donna's.  I love the letters and the way they had to sneak in "moments" together.  What a wonderful love story.  Emil had such a difficult life and overcame so much.  Thank you for coming down to Mankato and sharing your story with us.  We are fortunate to get to know you.  Kathy H.

Thank you for a wonderful book!  My parents have been doing the family genealogy, and it is amazing how many things they have saved.  I feel like they have left us wonderful memories, pictures, letters, and family historyso many things similar to the book.  After reading The Fortunate Four, I know how much I will cherish all this family history.  Sharon B.

Your book was a wonderful reminder of how important our family's past is.  I felt a little melancholy for the lost opportunities of finding out more about my grandmother's and mother's lives. However, it has motivated me to pass my story onto my children.  Thank you for sharing your stories and your time with FRIENDS.  Corri R.

What a wonderful book!  It's fun to take a peek into the lives of these women, as I think about all of the women in my life—past and present—and how they have touched my life.  My journey has just begun.  Thank you for your book and for sharing these stories.  Jodi M.

Thank you so much for preserving history for us and future generations.  What a wonderful collection.  My favorite part(s) are the journal excerpts from the 'Fortunate Four.'  What an interesting example of the language used at that time.  Such lovely language in my opinion.  Please continue to gather more stories and write more books for all to read, enjoy, and discuss. 
Janelle M.

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