Every Colorado College student has ventured into the 7-Eleven on the corner of Cache La Poudre St. and Nevada Ave.. And at some point during their visits, most have encountered John Frank Turner Jr., the friendly face behind the counter.
Turner, originally from New Orleans, moved to the Springs in 1992 and has been living here ever since. This past October, he was promoted to Assistant Manager, after two years of working at the staple, late-night, snack-and-cigarette spot.
Outside of work, he is a father of two, an avid Call of Duty player, and general chiller. And though his nametag now reads “John,” he will never be able to lose the moniker, “Lil’ Jon,” by which most CC students know him.
Ming Lee Newcomb
Ming Lee: I see that now you’re the assistant manager, you’re no longer “Lil Jon.”
Lil’ Jon: Yeah, I guess it had to be professional so they took it off … which is messed up.
ML: Do you miss it?
LJ: Everyone knows me as “Lil’ Jon”, so it’s a name I can’t get rid of since I’m a junior.
ML: What other jobs have you had besides working here?
LJ: I’ve worked at the movie theatres, and for a while, out at Fort Carson as a cook.
ML: How much business do you think Colorado College students give this 7-Eleven?
LJ: I’d say 85 percent to 90 percent are CC students.
ML: And what’s the most popular thing they buy?
LJ: Cigarettes … and Solo cups.
ML: What’s the most popular cigarette for students here?
LJ: Turkish Royals and probably 27s.
ML: But you smoke Black N Milds? What’s your favorite flavor?
LJ: I just rotate through them. Every time I get a pack, I get a different flavor. And actually, I’ve never even smoked a cigarette.
ML: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen a student do in here?
LJ: One of them came in and started doing a workout. As soon as he headed in the door, he started doing push-ups. Then he walked around for a little bit and started doing jumping jacks. He went over by the fridge, lay down, and did some sit-ups. And I was like, “Did someone make a bet with him or something? What’s going on?” And he got up and was like, “Alright. See you later.”
ML: What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen a customer do?
LJ: I think that was it, wait— no, that cross-dressing time. Wow. People come in here with speedos and stuff. I was like, “Man, come on, this is a business,” but it’s alright, everybody’s having fun.
ML: Can you tell if students are under the influence when they come in?
LJ: Yeah, I can tell, but it doesn’t affect purchases. It seems like they all know exactly what they want. Most of the time, they come in for taquitos. If that’s the situation, it’s taquito time.
ML: What flavor of taquito do you recommend?
LJ: Chicken. Definitely the Monterey Jack Chicken.
ML: Have you ever gone to CC parties?
LJ: Every now and then
ML: Which house do you like the best?
LJ: I’d have to say the K-Sig house. It was one of the first parties I ever went to.
ML: And what do you think of their parties?
LJ: They’re fun. I mean, I go to have fun, and they’re always like, “Yo, hit the keg! “
ML: Do people recognize you?
LJ: Yeah, always. I like the fact they know me, rather than looking at me like, “Uhh, who’s this?” It’s like I’m not invited if they do that. [But] I’m always invited.
ML: What’s your favorite type of music?
LJ: R&B, like Trey Songz, Usher, Bobby Valentino. I listen to rap, but only on a club night if I’m trying to get hyphy.
ML: What’s your favorite club in the Springs?
LJ: It all depends on the night, you know. I don’t really have a favorite … because most of the DJs suck. I go for two reasons: the ladies and the drinks. That’s how I have my fun; I like to get my dance on.
ML: Do you ever play scratch-off or lotto?
LJ: I mean, it’s rare. Lotto only when it’s up to three or four million, Powerball only if it’s up to 100 million, and I never do scratch-offs.
ML: If you had won Powerball when it was up to 500 million, what would you have done with the money?
LJ: Bought an all-white Hummer. It’d be sitting right out there in the parking lot where my Suburban is.
ML: What’s the biggest lottery you’ve ever seen someone win?
LJ: At this store? Five-hundred dollars on a two-dollar ticket. He came in and was like, “I need a miracle. This is my last two dollars.” He pointed and was like, “I want that one,” but I told him to get a different scratch-off game. One that people had been buying all day and losing. And he went outside, then came back in saying he had won. At first, I didn’t even believe it.
ML: Can you talk about your two kids?
LJ: Yeah, Dtayvion is seven and Javien is two. I have two boys. I’m happy. I’m done.
ML: What do you do with them?
LJ: With my oldest, it’s all about teaching him. He’s a crybaby so it’s more about manning him up. But the younger one, he’s hardcore. It’s more trying to stop him from destroying stuff.
ML: And what would you consider your spirit animal?
LJ: A snake. They’re strong and they like to eat and they’re slick. I’ve had four snakes: a Burmese python, an albino python, a ball python, and a red tail boa.
ML: Do you have any pets right now?
LJ: No snakes right now, but I have four pitbulls. All blue noses.
ML: You also play Call of Duty?
ML: Do you wreck shit?
LJ: Yeah, I’m a beast.
ML: Can I give out your username?
LJ: It’s Lildz719. Kids can link up if they want, but they’d rather be on my team than against me. I’ll just say that.