Friday Funday: Jill and Joe Are Puerto Rican? ¡Sí, Por Supuesto!

Joe Bidón grew up hard and he grew up fast. He had to. The streets of West Mayfield were mean. Too mean. His padre warned him “stick your own kind, Joey, those white boys don’t want our kind around.”  Sure, padre could sell used cars but that was as far as a Puerto Rican Bidón could go in West Mayfield. Joey had no other choice but to form a gang. He named his gang “The Sharks” after the pack of sharks he killed swimming to the mainland with his sister, Maria on his back.


Joey told his homeboys, “We Puerto Ricans have to stick together in Delaware”. Sure there were other Mayfield gangs but Joey’s gang was the best. The Black gang was called the Corn Poppers after their infamous leader Corn Pop. The white boy gang was called “The Jets”. It was named after the Jets that flew over Delaware and polluted everything with an oil slick. They were slick those white boys.

Joey soon met up with Jill at a YMCA dance. Jill made her own clothes from drapes, couch fabric, and fishnets. They were inseparable. Even the West Mayfield white boys admired them. At one dance a guy named Tony showed up and danced with Maria. Joey told Tony to get lost. He did but came back with a knife. Tony stabbed Joey but the knife just bent off of Joey’s pecks (that’s how tough Joey was).

Joey decided to write a play about his life as a Puerto Rican in West Mayfield. The studio picked up the option. Joey said he could write the screenplay, and the music, and he did. Joey demanded that he play the character Bernardo, and Jill would play Anita.


It was called West Side Story.

God’s truth. I’m not making this up. That’s just how it happened.


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