Family Ties

updated 01/09/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/09/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

"We created this book as a gift to our own sisters," explains Carol Saline, 55, a senior writer at Philadelphia Magazine, who with Sharon J. Wohlmuth, 48, a photographer at the Philadelphia Inquirer has produced Sisters (Running Press), a best-selling tribute to sisters sung and unsung. "We dedicate it all those women blessed with sisters who have made the highs in life more meaningful and the lows more bearable."

People ask us what it's like to have a famous sister," says Kelly Turlington (center), 27, of her supermodel sibling Christy, 26 (right, at their parents' home in Danville, Calif.). "We just don't notice any difference. When she conies home to visit, she still cleans out our closets, tells what to wear, gives us expensive clothes." Sister Erin (left), 24, agrees: "The three of us are still best friends." Adds Christy: "They are the people who make me feel most comfortable. Without using words, we just know things about each other. There's a security in that."

I'm very lucky," says Coretta Scott King (above, left), 67, of her sibling Edythe Bagley. "I don't have a husband, but I do have a sister—a sister I can talk to about personal things I wouldn't tell anyone else. A sister with whom I can share my burdens and my joys. It's very hard in this world to find someone who can walk in your shoes, but Edythe comes closer to that than anybody." Adds Edythe, a teacher at Cheyney University of Pennsylvania: "We've never been the kind to say things; we just do for each other."

We won't be just friends," says 7-year-old Anna Klales of newborn Hannah (outside their home near Philadelphia). "We'll be sisters. Alike. Only one of us will be bigger than the other. Later on I'll teach her how to walk, and when she gets a little older, I'll give her my tricycle. And we'll play games like hide-and-seek. We'll tell each other secrets, and Hannah will love me as big as the world. See how her eyes are closed? She must be tired. I think we should keep her. She's too cute to give away."

Bloomie (left), Dotty (center) and Minnie Green have lived their adult lives within 10 minutes of each other. Now widowed and in their 80s, the three are neighbors in Miami. "They need each other like light and air, but at the same time they're very independent," says Bloomie's daughter Linda. "When one of their children suggests that it might make sense if they shared an apartment, they throw up their hands in horror and say, 'God forbid, can't think of anything worse.' "

I can't remember a time when we didn't get along," says Dixie Carter (right), 55, of her sister Midge Heath, 54, who lives in San Anselmo, Calif., and works for a nonprofit education-advocacy group. "We even divided the icing when Mama baked a cake. She'd call us in to lick the pan, and we'd draw a line right down the middle to make sure the other one got enough."

When Charlene Cunningham (center), 29, was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy in 1990, her sisters Katie Mullins (left), 31, and Julie Maravitch, 30, followed their physicians' advice and also had their breasts removed. The three women, who always talked about everything, then talked about death. Said Charlene: "I'm most sad about leaving the ones I love because I know how much they'll miss me." Charlene died at 7:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

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