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.

North Country Girl: Chapter 23 — A Global Citizen Goes to the Deeps

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

North Country Girl: Chapter 24 — Boyfriend and Girlfriends

Gay Haubner enters high school in the 1960s and remembers bad boyfriends and great girlfriends.

Duluth postcard

North Country Girl: Chapter 25 — No Smoking

Gay Haubner grades high school in Duluth in the late ‘60s as follows: girlfriends—A+, boyfriends—B-, Hey Jude—C, smoking—F.

Duluth street

North Country Girl: Chapter 26 — The London Inn

Gay Haubner remembers teen-age weekends in Duluth, including raucous nights at the London Inn.

Park Point

North Country Girl: Chapter 27 — Broomball and Other Activities

Gay Haubner shares high school hijinks, including broomball, a drug-addled Global Citizenship class, and a particularly memorable moon landing.

Gay Haubner

North Country Girl: Chapter 28 — The Age of Aquarius Comes to Duluth

Where Gay changes her glasses for contacts, ditches her boyfriend, gains confidence, and meets the first love of her life.

Hand Holding

North Country Girl: Chapter 29 — A Teenager in Love

The 1970s, sex, and psychedelics shaped Gay Haubner’s sweet sixteen.

Hand Holding

North Country Girl: Chapter 30 — Winter Tales

Gay Haubner shares winter tales of mind-expanding drugs and mind-blowing skiing in Minnesota.