Growing up North of Fargo on the West bank of the North River

KB Easter Bunny Eastern PA toon
I've.been lying about something for a little over 10 years now, and lately it's been getting me into more and more trouble, so I thought I'd set the record straight. Or less crooked anyway, Here's the tagline of a bio I use a lot:  

Kate Bornstein was born outside of Fargo, North Dakota, in a log cabin she helped her parents build. Her father was a Lutheran minister, her mother was Miss Betty Crocker 1938, and her brother tends the goats to this day. 

photo by Troy Dwyer at a Cracker Barrel restaurant outside Allentown, PA

OK… born in a log cabin I helped my parents build? I really thought that people would get it that I was joking. But no! And daddy having been a Lutheran minister… ummm, Bornstein? I really thought I was being over-the-top obvious about my lie. So I'm sorry to people who believed what I wrote and pinned something nice on me because you thought it was true I was from the Land of Nice. 

I always wished I was from there. I was born just outside Asbury Park, New Jersey. Bruce Springsteen and I dated in high school. See? That's another lie I tell that has a clue inside it. Bruce and I were both boys back then, and we both liked girls, I never met him. But it's fun to say the lie and watch people get it. Do ya think it's bad of me to tell these kinds of lies? 

Andy Warhol told bio lies.every time a reporter asked where he was from. He'd give each reporter a differentt answer.I thought that was cool! I took that as artistic license for silly fun.
But a lot of people believed the Fargo bit. My fave was a book critic reviewing Hello, Cruel World, The review read, "The warmth and heart of Kte Bornstein's Midwestern upbringing is evident on every page of her book." Awwwwww! But yikes, right? 

I've always wanted to be a girl from the Midwest. I wanted to be a Norman Rockwell painting: strawberry blonde, freckles, knee socks and pigtails, born to a sweet Lutheran daddy like maybe Garrison Keillor.
Pippi Longstocking is who I wanted to be, Not the chubby little Jewish boy of Russian heritage that I was. So I made up the Fargo story.
The facts are my mom was a terrible cook, and my brother, well he doesn't tend goats or do much of anything else with them that I know of. 

Still, telling that Fargo story makes me laugh.So, I'm going to leave it up, and I'm going to keep using it. But for what it's worth, now you know the truth of it. And go ahead, if the subject comes up, please free to talk about my upbringing in either of those scenarios. Whatever makes you smile. 

Oh and by the way, I'm not a blonde anymore, I'm back to redhead. I've unleashed my inner Williow. Or maybe I'm just turning into an anime girl at long last. But a lot of people have missed me at airports cuz they were looking for me being Geena Davis from The Long Kiss Goodnight. Nope, I'm a wannabe Kaylee from Firefly these days.

Alright then… Kiss Kiss from your friendly neighborhood redhead Jersey girl, that's me!


  1. Well, I’m glad we cleared THAT up…
    I love the Warhol analogy; he was a prankster, a shaman a shape-shifter just like you(and me); I loved it when he sent a double out on interviews and howls of outrage followed.The straight world is so charming and sweet and gullible as all hell. My people DO come from that sturdy Norsk midwestern stock, but I grew up in the red-orange smoggy splendor of Los Angeles, one of the least wholesome cities in the world; part Tokyo, part Bhagdad, part Milan, part Mexico City..a big part actually…
    That pic is f’n adorable; you will never grow old.

  2. You rock Kate! Haha, that’s so funny.

  3. Aww, I love this post. And I love your red hair! I am a strawberry blond girl with pigtails from the Midwest, but I wish I had been born in a log cabin I helped my parents build.

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