I work at Pizza Hut, which is located in the Kroger plaza in Princeton. There are several stores and other services there. A Taste of Memphis is a popular BBQ restaurant in the area. It's there. The last time I was inside, they had several newspaper articles up from then they opened in 2005. One on the wall is from The Concordian and was written by Jared Tice. Another place is Smoker Friendly, a tobacco specialty store. I remember when I was younger seeing commercials under its original name - Chief Smoker Friendly and seeing a stereotypical Native American mascot. You can probably guess why they dropped the "Chief" from the name.
The Armed Forces recruiting center is also there in the plaza, a few doors down from the Pizza Hut. The only time I've ever been inside was when I tried to sell ad space in Princeton Senior High School's student newspaper The Tiger Tribune in 2001. We were one of the key audiences that they wanted to reach, so they purchased a sizable advertisement.
When I was in middle school, I had distant thoughts of joining the Army or one of the other armed forces. The commercials made it very appealing - do some hard work a couple weekends out of the year and we'll pay for your college. And people will respect you. Then, the incidents of Sept. 11, 2001 occurred and that changed the image of the Army for me. Now the commercials said hey, wanna come fight a war? And, no, I did not.
I was working at Pizza Hut the other day when a couple guys from the recruiting center came in to get an order. They were making idle chitchat for a minute or two. One of the guys there said, "You think anybody here wants to be a Marine?" I looked over at the other two people working and gave my honest answer: "No." He was shocked - "Really? Why not?" The other guy jumped in and tried to give me his informal recruitment pitch.
"Did you go to high school around here?"
"What year did you graduate?"
"Wow. Really? That long ago? Is this all you've done with your life since then?"
I said yeah and walked away. He might need to work on his method of recruiting people.