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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

MAUREEN ALLEN OF Callicoon places a floral arrangement at the entrance to the Callicoon Saloon and Beanery on Main Street earlier this week. Allen was the friend of co-owner Lyn Phillips, who died on Sunday.

Employees Rally
Around Restaurant

By Ted Waddell
CALLICOON — August 30, 2002 – A sign is posted in the window of Randy and Lyn’s Callicoon Saloon & Beanery: “Saloon will be closed until further notice due to a death in the family.”
Since Marilyn “Lyn” Phillips’ body was discovered on the rocks of Cooley Creek last Sunday in Manchester Township, Pa., the popular bar and eatery which bills itself as “the Hottest Blues Club on the Delaware” has been closed while law enforcement authorities investigate the tragedy.
But the staff of the Callicoon Saloon & Beanery aren’t about to let the dream of owners Randy and Lyn Phillips die without a fight to keep the place open.
On Wednesday night in the partially darkened saloon, two staffers and a friend of the family declined to talk about the investigation swirling around their friends and the spate of wild rumors circulating along the Delaware River valley. Instead, they preferred to dwell on pleasant memories of a couple recalled as “devoted to each other” and think of the healing process, no matter what the eventual outcome of the investigation.
Outside the saloon, a lot of folks stopped by to peer through the windows or place wildflowers by the front door in memory of Lyn.
Candles sputtered in a gentle wind blowing down Main Street as Frank Drizhal and Maureen Allen recalled meeting at the local establishment, almost a year ago to the day Lyn Phillips’ body was discovered in the creek across the river.
“It’s a real tragedy,” said Allen. “They touched a lot of people’s lives. Randy and Lyn were best friends.”
“It’s sad, because you never saw them apart,” added Drizhal.
Inside the saloon, bartenders Chris Corbett and John Murphy, along with Margaret “Peg” Luty, struggled with their emotions as they talked about plans to keep the beanery afloat as a memorial to Lyn and something for Randy to look forward to upon completion of the investigation.
“The staff and I are all trying to reopen the place and keep it in business,” said Corbett of Hankins. “We’re all sure that’s what Lyn would want. . . . She has worked so hard on this that she would hate to see it go under.”
According to Corbett, who said he’s known the couple for years, “In the five years I’ve worked there, they are the nicest people I’ve ever worked for in my life.
“We’re all willing to put in our time to keep this place running while Randy heals, so he’ll come back to something,” he added. “This place is a big part of the town.”
Peg Luty of Callicoon said she knew Randy and Lyn for a long time, describing them as “wonderful people.”
“We had a lot of fun and laughs together,” she said. “It was a nice place to come to on a Saturday night and listen to music. Lyn and I would sit on the bench out front and talk to people as they came in.
“I feel I want to support the employees and get the place opened up again,” said Luty.
John Murphy of Callicoon said he’s known the Phillipses for 30-some years and has tended bar there on-and-off ever since it opened five years ago.
“We want to keep Lyn and Randy’s dream alive,” he said. “They strived all their lives to make this place. . . . The loss is going to be felt in this area for a very long time.”
Corbett and Murphy said that with “Randy’s blessings,” the staff of the Callicoon Saloon & Beanery (including barmaids Karen and Martina) are going to reopen for business Saturday afternoon in time for the Bill Perry Blues Band, which is scheduled to take to the stage at approximately 9 p.m.
The eatery will be closed on Sunday for Lyn Phillips’ memorial service at 3:30 p.m. at the Holy Cross R.C. Church on Route 97 in Callicoon.
The staff plans to reopen the business full-time (although still closed on Mondays) next week.
“This is the first step in a very long journey,” said Corbett. “We’re going to keep it going while Randy heals. . . . We will always be here for him [because] we love him.”
Corbett said that reopening the saloon on Saturday and the blues performance by Bill Perry will be “a celebration of Lyn’s life.”
“It’s a tragic accident,” he added. “But we have to keep it going for Randy, Lyn and our town. We need to keep the tradition alive.”

Phillips' Death
Remains Mystery

By Dan Hust
CALLICOON — August 30, 2002 – The Wayne County District Attorney’s Office and the Pennsylvania State Police are staying tight-lipped about the death of Marilyn “Lyn” Phillips, 54, on Sunday.
The DA’s office in Honesdale, Pa. said that there was no new information available yesterday, and the State Police are only stating that if anyone has any more information, they should call the barracks at 570-253-7126.
According to area media reports and the Democrat’s own sources, Randy Phillips, Lyn’s husband and the co-owner with her of the Callicoon Saloon and Beanery, told police on Sunday that, after dropping off an employee in Hankins, Lyn and he crossed Kellams Bridge into Pennsylvania on their way home.
Along Cooley Road, Phillips said Lyn fell out of the car (the DA said it was not a pickup or other open-air vehicle). Randy, whose full name is John Rand Phillips, noted Lyn’s absence when he got home about a mile away. He went searching for her and found her dead several hours later. Several media reported that Phillips also told police that he stopped once to let Lyn go to the bathroom, but the Democrat could not confirm this with authorities.
The Wayne County coroner, Dr. Edward Murray, said an autopsy performed by forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross revealed that Lyn Phillips suffered “blunt force trauma” to the head. Toxicology tests and other tests were performed, but results may not be known for weeks.
Although law enforcement authorities have been treating this as a criminal investigation – questioning numerous area residents, searching the Phillipses’ home and business, and combing the spot where Lyn’s body was found – no charges have been filed against anyone.

Contributed Photo

LYN PHILLIPS STANDS with Bill Perry of the Bill Perry Blues Band, which will be performing at the Callicoon Saloon this Saturday in memory of Phillips. The photo was taken several years ago at a previous concert at the saloon.

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