Kathryn Alexandria Stardust arrived kicking and screaming into this world. It was the wee hours of June 13, 1985 and she weighed in at six pounds, 13 ounces, 20.5 inches long. It was not lost on her hippie parents that her birth date and birth weight were the same. They considered naming her Six but decided against it. Jack and Evie Stardust called their baby Kat. Two days after her birth, Kat’s forty year old parents brought her home to their New York City walk up on the west side.
Jack often told Kat, “When your mother announced she was pregnant on Thanksgiving 1984 you could have knocked me over with a feather.”
Kat giggled and Jack continued, “Here we were in our walk up with not a care in the world, settled down from twenty years together. And your mother goes and gets knocked up!”
He throws his arms in the air while he rolls his eyes.
Kat’s giggle turns into a loud open mouth laugh and she asks, “So what did you do?”
“Well, I asked her who the father was of course!”
Jack joins Kat in a fit of laughter. They look at each other knowingly. This is part of their routine, their schtick. They hold their sides and double over in laughter each time they tell the story which is at least annually on Kat’s birthday.
Kat was born during the years of Madonna and Michael Jackson worship and the famine in Ethiopia. Jack was bidding to work Live Aid, worldwide concerts to raise funds for Ethiopian famine relief. Organizers wanted to spotlight the growing famine in Ethiopia as well as the best talent in the world; talent the likes of Madonna, Bob Dylan, Bono and Bruce Springsteen. The event was scheduled for July 13, 1985, a month after Kat’s due date. And so began their life as parents with Jack pulling strings to work the JFK Stadium event rather than Wembley, the bid he had won, to be stateside with Kat’s very pregnant mother Evie.
They lived in an 800 square foot New York City walk-up with Jack and Evie’s records and guitars lining the walls. They often joked that their collections made the home only 600 square feet. In spite of the tight quarters it was the first home they owned and they loved their space. Evie baked homemade cookies while Jack played guitar. He wrote and sang Kat a lullaby in her first days at home while Evie rocked her to sleep. The peace was short lived.
There are three things Kat’s parents learned shortly after she was born.
The first is that children with cholic cry and vomit through the first six months of life. Kat was touched with cholic as her father had been when he was a baby.
The second is during that time her parents got little sleep and few date nights.
The third is that while babies are small they need a lot of stuff. What to Expect When You’re Expecting didn’t begin to cover what aging hippies needed to know about babies.
The rigors of life in the city with a baby touched by cholic proved overwhelming. While they wanted to tough it out, they decided to rent the walk up and buy a home in the suburbs. They moved just after Kat’s first Christmas to the horror of their friends in the city.