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Stateside With Rosalea: Campbell And Fry’s

Stateside With Rosalea Barker

Campbell And Fry’s

There’s an ad on TV that has puzzled me ever since I moved to the Bay Area. It’s for an electronics store that sells not just consumer products but the kind of stuff techies go nuts for--memory upgrades, gold-plated audio jacks, all that jazz. The curious thing about the ad is that it features an owl and the night sky. So, being down in the South Bay this weekend, I decided to find out why.

But first, a diversion, because I completely overshot the light rail station I was supposed to get off at and ended up in the historic city of Campbell. I know it’s historic because there’s a sign that says so:

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Having dutifully trotted into the HD, I discovered the most bizarre thing: this replica of a 1950s jigsaw puzzle box.

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Actually, it is called Ainsley House. Campbell is at the center of what was once a fruit-growing area, and the J.C. Ainsley Packing Company was one of three major canneries in the town. Most of the high quality fruit canned by Ainsley was shipped to England.

A not-too-long walk from there took me back to the previous Valley Transit Authority light rail station and thus to Fry’s Electronics, where I immediately began to see the reason for the owl motif in the ad.

A moving walkway has you gliding like Cleopatra on a Nile barge up to the front door, and inside, the Egyptian theme is used everywhere. Even in the Presentation Room, where a mummy stands sentinel to the right of the home theatre screen, holding what could very well be the very receptacle from which Snakes on a Plane escaped. Look out! There’s one on the sconce!

Once you have finally had your fill of walking around an acre or two of electronics, the marvellous checkout area awaits you. This view of the 58 checkout stations is taken from just inside the grand entrance, which means you’re looking at merely half the width of the building.

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Talk about supersized Fry’s!



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