North Country Girl


North Country Girl: Chapter 1 — Duluth

In chapter 1 of a serialized memoir, Gay Haubner shares charming stories from her childhood in Minnesota.


North Country Girl: Chapter 2 — What I Didn’t Learn in Kindergarten

In chapter 2 of a serialized memoir, Gay Haubner recalls her Minnesotan upbringing, including starting kindergarten, watching The Bozo Show, and visiting her grandparents in Carlton.


North Country Girl: Chapter 3 — The Charms of South Dakota

In chapter 3 of a serialized memoir, Gay Haubner shares making the trip to Aberdeen, South Dakota, every summer to visit her grandparents.


North Country Girl: Chapter 4 — 411 Lakeview Avenue

Gay Haubner writes of growing up in Duluth, including picking berries, skating on homemade ice rinks, and exploring Congdon Creek.


North Country Girl: Chapter 5 — Congdon Elementary

Gay Haubner recalls the details of elementary school life, including Christmas concerts, the horrors of phys ed, and tuna noodle casserole on Fridays.


North Country Girl: Chapter 6 — A Very Ratty First Communion

Gay Haubner shares the tale of her first communion and being pitched into existential despair by strict nuns.

Ice cream truck

North Country Girl: Chapter 7 — We Have Ice Cream in the Fridge

Childhood tales of Mad magazine, Shakespeare, and angling for ice cream.

Children in Halloween costumes

North Country Girl: Chapter 8 — Teacher’s Pet

Being the best third grader in Duluth, Minnesota, had its advantages.


North Country Girl: Chapter 9 — The Big City of Minneapolis

Gay Haubner remembers her mid-1960s trips to Minneapolis to shop at Dayton’s, eat at Nankin, and visit Santa Claus.

Fourth Graders

North Country Girl: Chapter 10 — The Return of Miss Ritchie

Gay Haubner shares memories of great fourth grade teachers, bad piano lessons, and learning to love music in Duluth, Minnesota.

Fourth Graders

North Country Girl: Chapter 11 — Summer Sleep-Away Camp

Gay Haubner shares stories of Camp Wanakiwin, including ice-cold lakes, smelly toilets, and late-night ill-informed sex talks.

Country Club

North Country Girl: Chapter 12 — Country Club Days

Gay Haubner recalls her fifth grade year in Duluth, including country clubs, enrichment classes, and her mother’s brush with Junior League.

Fried Chicken

North Country Girl: Chapter 13 — Food, Glorious Food

Gay Haubner remembers the delicious food of her childhood in Duluth: bread in a can, apple pan dowdy, and the occasional sip of a Tom & Jerry.

The Beatles

North Country Girl: Chapter 14 — Meet the Beatles

At the age of ten, Gay Haubner learns about elocution, the Beatles, and that there is no justice in the world.

A pile of smelt fish

North Country Girl: Chapter 15 — Saturday Matinee at the Norshor

Gay Haubner remembers movies at the Norshor, the deprivation of the Seattle World’s Fair, and smelt fishing with her dad.

A dodgeball

North Country Girl: Chapter 16 — Junior High School: Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here

Gay Haubner shares her stories of Bizarro World sleepovers and the horrors of junior high.

North Country Girl: Chapter 17: Life in a Boy’s Dorm

Gay Haubner recounts the highs and lows of junior high, including visiting a college boys’ dorm, suffering through music class, and being ignored by the popular girls.

North Country Girl: Chapter 18 — The Sixth and Seventh Circles of Junior High Hell: Home Ec and Gym

Gay Haubner shares memories of hot and heavy romance novels, horrible home ec dresses, and the continued humiliations of gym class.

North Country Girl: Chapter 19 — Duluth Dentists Gone Wild

Gay Haubner vacations in Mexico with a bunch of dentists.

North Country Girl: Chapter 20 — The 60s Arrive in Duluth

In 1967, the sixties finally trickled up to northern Minnesota.

North Country Girl: Chapter 21 — Youth in Revolt

1960s counter-culture in Duluth included wearing red pleather mini-skirts, subscribing to Avant Garde, and listening to The Who.

North Country Girl: Chapter 22 — Gay’s First Date

After being picked last at dances and generally being ignored by boys, Gay finally scores her first real date.