Arlyn Gagnon (Today Magazine article: Charles Eugene Gagnon: A Minnesota Original) - Congratulations! You have captured the spirit of Chuck’s sculpture and the museum all in one article. Beautiful! I think Chuck would have also enjoyed it. You have much to be proud of.
Beth Solie (Today Magazine article: Things Happen) - Mike, I finally had time to take a look at your new Facebook writing page. Thanks for letting me know. You are an amazing writer! I read the article about Barb Brown, and it brings tears to my eyes. We both relive the story once in a while and think that doing so is part of the therapy. I spend a lot of time with Barb. She has good and bad days, but for the most part she is positive. And like she says in the article, she keeps improving!
Greg Caucutt (Today Magazine article: The Game that Won Greg's Heart and Mind) - When Mike suggested doing an article for Today magazine about my bridge playing, I worried about what would be required of me, and whether the result would be of much interest beyond bridge players and friends. Mike made it easy for me by taking my raw verbal input and crafting a better story than I thought was there (I knew it would be well-written). Plus the feedback on the published article shows much broader appeal than I expected. The whole experience has been great fun, and I thank Mike for doing this.
Bob Norberg - Lake City, MN - Michael Ransom's article (The Game that Won Greg's Heart and Mind) was superb on so many levels. It illuminated the nuances of the game. It captured the thrill of achievement at a game that tests skill, memory, stamina, and guile. And it was a fitting tribute to what Greg Caucutt has done to make the Rochester bridge experience so rewarding for so many. I have made copies of the article to send to past partners who live at a distance.
Cathy Clark (Grandma and Grandpa Ransom) - I laughed and I cried, and through it all I remembered the good times we had. It is truly a great tribute to two wonderful people who helped shape our lives.
Barb and Steve Slaggie (Stories of Our Lives) - Michael Ransom is the consummate professional in the work of creating memoirs for his subjects. Our story of two diverse families in our youth—and then our combined lives for almost fifty years—was woven together like a spider spinning a web. The year-long project was a pleasure to accomplish, working with a skilled, patient, tremendously organized memoir writer. Michael Ransom is in a class by himself. We gave him the facts and background; Michael told the story. We are forever grateful.
Ken Berge (Ninety Years and Counting: An Abundant Life Examined) - Part of the secret of one's success is having experts to consult in most situations. I was advised to contact Michael Ransom, a professional writer who has made a specialty of persona life history. In less than a year he and I worked together to finish my memoir. He provided invaluable help, not only with the writing but also with skillfully and patiently managing all steps of the memoir development process. I have been amazed and heartened by readers' responses to my life story. Thank you, Michael, for helping me accomplish something I never thought possible.
Kay Irvine (Remember Who You Are) - I want to express my heartfelt thanks to my friend Mike Ransom, who, during many long and enjoyable hours of conversation, walked with me down Memory Lane to find the contents of this book. Together we have honed the many details of my life to shape the story I wanted to tell. I thank him for his knowledge, his expertise, and most of all, for the deep friendship we have forged. He and his wife, Jeanine, have become dear members of my extended family.
Sharon Rome, daughter of Kay Irvine (Remember Who You Are) - Your work in helping my mother, Kay Irvine, to write her memoir was a gift to all of us. It was wonderful to see her pleasure and pride as she worked with you to create an account of her family history and stories. The finished product, Remember Who You Are, is a testament to her love of family and to your skill in honing the details of her story. Thanks from the many friends and family members who have enjoyed this book. It is wonderful to think of future generations who will know my mother and her history because of you.
Kate Buron (Taking Care of Memories) - Your writing workshop was an inspiration! It was wonderful to share stories and hear everyone's ideas for their masterpiece. Thanks for your guidance and expertise.
Marguerite K. (Jappy) Smith (A Journey to Remember) - Several years ago I began writing my memoirs for my family. But when my health started declining in 2010, I was extremely fortunate to learn of Michael Ransom, a sensitive and gifted professional memoirist who came to my rescue. He patiently and skillfully served as overall project manager as we organized, wrote, and reviewed my material. His leadership and encouragement throughout the process were invaluable. Our many working sessions were most enjoyable and brought some focus to my life. Best of all, Michael has become a wonderful friend. He has agreed to assist me with several shorter books I am now writing. I couldn’t recommend Michael Ransom more highly.
Suzanne Smith Godec, daughter of Jappy Smith (A Journey to Remember) - Mike is infinitely patient and perceptive in working with his (elderly) subjects to facilitate capturing the essence of their memories through their recounting of their lives. Mike has an appreciation for the histories of his subjects, which gives a special warmth to his recounting of their stories.
Faye Sargent - I read your article (A Son's Farewell) about your mother in the Generations of Today magazine, and I had to tell you how touching and meaningful it was. You truly have a way of relating with your reader. The basic, simple, important facets of your relationship come through. As one who was not able to say goodbye to my mother as I would have wished, I applaud your success in doing so and in sharing your gentle and amazing moments with your readers.
Duane Ilstrup (Loving What Death Can Touch) - Mike, I just finished your book Loving What Death Can Touch. It reminded me of the great love that Diane and I witnessed between Jeannine, you, and Tyler, and of the great loss that you experienced. It is not nice to make a 70 year old man cry! Thank you for writing it.
John Gunnon Centennial Committee Chair (Rochester Golf & Country Club, Celebrating a Century 1916-2016) - Mike did a great job coordinating and designing our Centennial Book to celebrate 100 years at Rochester Golf & Country Club. This was a daunting endeavor as significant portions of RGCC’s historical archives had been lost over the years. Mike diligently researched, interviewed and planned the book with great detail. He solicited input from numerous club members and incorporated feedback and modified concepts based on available information. He was able to manage multiple different perspectives and opinions to create a wonderful book that captures the spirit of Rochester Golf & Country Club.
Ann Rebidas - As I share over the years the article you wrote about my mother, Helen, I receive many compliments. Everyone is moved by Helen's story. Thanks again for taking the time to interview her and dedicating your time to put her story down on paper. I made many copies that were all taken at her funeral service in June 2013. Helen lived to be 96 and of course would have lived longer if not for Alzheimer's taking its toll. I greatly appreciate the way you honored my mother telling her narrative in the article you beautifully crafted.
Ruth Weispfenning, Charter House Director of Resident Services (Charter House Roots and Spirit) - Mike is a true delight to work with. He has a very gentle and genuine approach with his clients. He listens to not only what is being said, but also to what isn't being said. Through regularly scheduled meetings, he leads his customers through the project one detail at a time and takes responsibility from beginning to end. I have utmost respect for Mike and his work.
Jill Byrne (Step on a Crack) - First you took the time necessary to absorb my life, then gently led me through the process of telling my story. You listened and set a comfortable pace. Your easy-going acceptance always encouraged me to continue. Your organizational skills, in my experience, are unparalleled. A man of immense patience, you took on my overwhelming challenge, pulled it all together in seeming effortlessness with your wry sense of humor remaining intact. By the end, you wrote so well in my voice, I had to look up who wrote what! If I had another life, I would not hesitate to seek your services again! With deep gratitude.
Pastor Carol Solovitz (Step on a Crack) - Seldom have I been drawn into a ‘case study’ so quickly and wholeheartedly. Against overwhelming personal odds, Jill Byrne has been able to survive her upbringing and genetics, leading to a thriving, joyful adulthood. I celebrate with Jill her victory over depression and her faith in a God who would not give up on her, along with wonderful friends and therapists who stuck by her and let her know how much she is worth. I also celebrate that she was led to co-author Michael Ransom, who so artfully helped her craft her story. Courage, determination, faith, and the right people at the right time make this an excellent read.
Kathleen Gleeson, co-author with Janusz Bardach of Man Is Wolf to Man and Surviving Freedom (Step on a Crack) - I'm struck and impressed by Byrne's deadpan humor, piercing honesty, and the ability to tell a masterful story that could have easily turned out angry, bitter, or maudlin. She has a rare talent for storytelling. Her clear vision of what she endured growing up and how she doggedly worked to heal her inner self will inspire anyone who wonders how people survive in this zany world. Byrne's lovely literary voice, combined with the editorial talent of Michael Ransom, leaves you longing to read more.
Mark and Janet Skeie, authors of Mapping Your Retirement (Mom, Dad…Can We Talk?) - Mom, Dad...Can We Talk? is an excellent resource for anyone working through the issues of aging parents. It touches on topics many of us are reluctant to bring up within our families, and each chapter offers practical tips to help adult children. This is a wonderful, thought-provoking book for all families.
Larry Minnix, President and CEO, American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging (Mom, Dad…Can We Talk?) - Mom, Dad...Can We Talk? raises the issues of aging and family relationships that ‘On Golden Pond’ did nearly a generation ago. This is not a how-to formula book. There is no kit involved, no GPS for solving the problems we will all encounter if we are fortunate to have elders in our clan. No, this is a book of hope to guide you through difficult family times.
Michele Kimball, Executive Director, AARP Minnesota (Mom, Dad…Can We Talk?) - This book is wonderful and will give readers terrific guidance and a lot to think about. It might even lead to improved parent-child relationships—very powerful, indeed.
Gayle Kvenvold, President and CEO, Aging Services of Minnesota (Mom, Dad…Can We Talk?) - This is a book I would keep on my bedside table. It's like a frank conversation with a real friend. However difficult the circumstances or painful the journey, having older parents is a privilege, a gift. This book reminds us that ‘ending well’ is part of living and helps us forward on that journey.
John Smaby (Always a Move Ahead) - I enjoy your style. I know my dad [Phil Smaby] considers you a friend. A friend of my dad's is a friend of mine. Obviously, you're doing this for a profit, too, but I think you've brought a lot of joy to Dad, and he really appreciates that. The memoir has come along very nicely.
Karen Gorman (The Seamstress and the Salesman) - Our book has been a real dream come true. My dad and I were alone the other day and he started crying about the book because he was so emotional about it. You sure can't put a price on the gift they are actually giving all of us. I am so lucky to have you in my corner with the knowledge to make this idea become a dream and now a reality. I hope you know what a gift you have given my family by agreeing to be the nucleus of the project. Thank you so much!
Clayt and Marge Engel (The Seamstress and the Salesman) - We want to thank you for all the work you did on our book. We really enjoy reading it. I've read it three times, and Clayt is able to read it, too. All we have heard is great comments on it from people who have read it. It was great working with you.
Win Shen (Finding Home) - Thank you for all you have done for us. We take great comfort in knowing K.C. found great friendship in you. We also know he appreciated and valued the book you are doing for us. This will be a treasure to us for many generations to come.
Berdine Erickson (Rich in the Fewness of My Needs) - You've made me feel young again.
Barbara Chamberlin Daugherty (Shiny Dimes and Wild Rides) - How can I ever thank you enough for the wonderful work you have done on my parents' memoirs? I am so very, very pleased with the book. Your research was thorough, your organization of the project clearly focused, and your editing precise. You projected a timeline and held to it at a reasonable budget. Most of all, I was impressed and grateful for your gentle, guiding touch with my parents during your interviewing with them. Mother and Dad are very private people and yet both commented on how comfortable they were talking with you. I have enjoyed and appreciated so much our many hours of work together. Our entire family is grateful.
Tom Hall, Charter House Marketing Director (Charter House Roots and Spirit) - Mike has helped us with several of our newsletters and a history project. He is like an artist; we sketch in black and white, Mike renders in color and hones our message. He also shepherds our projects through the printing process. We like Mike!