The Phoenix will rise again

Dingmans Ferry. An ash tree fell and ripped out the enter the iconic store on Route 209, but owner Doug Cosh is determine to rebound.

| 09 Aug 2023 | 06:05

On July 29, an old ash tree keeled over and ripped out the entire center of Phoenix, the iconic store on Route 209 owned by Doug Cosh.

Ash trees are known for being susceptible to the Emerald Ash borer–an invasive Asian beetle which eventually kills them.

The building was built in 1870 as a barn next to the old Dutch Reformed Church. The store is a magical place, selling unique crafts, jewelry, some furniture and clothing mainly from the southwest and Mexico, but also from other parts of the globe, including recent acquisitions from Thailand.

In addition, Phoenix serves as a gathering hole for events and holidays. The Phoenix fashion show occurs twice a year.

“We have very diversified friends who can feel comfortable getting out there and showing who they really are,” Cosh said, “and we have one-of-a-kind clothing as unique as they are. “

Last year there were about 100 people in the audience.

A fixture in the community

Cosh has owned the store for 40 years and it has become a unique fixture in the Dingmans Ferry area.

He is also renown as an excellent chef and caters many large and small events. Cosh is, indeed, a beloved member of the community - even beyond Dingmans Ferry, in Milford, as well as other parts of Pike County.

A tree falls

When the tree fell on the Phoenix, it made a huge noise as it hit the center of the store.

And it was terrifying.

Cosh has a network of friends who rallied around and came to the rescue immediately. They helped clean up the debris, sort the viable objects from the wreckage and arranged them under a tent for an impending sale.

Cosh remains positive

“You have to try not to let anything upset you because it shortens your life,” he said.

He noted that bad things seem to happen in threes; first, Terry Talent, his partner of 40 years died, then, several months ago, he was crossing the street in Milford and was hit by a speeding car. He was in a trauma unit for 14 days.

People thought he was going to die.

His friends rallied and took turns working in the store to keep it going.

With lots of hard work, therapy and love, he recovered.

And now this.

But, after all this, he said, “Everything should be on the uptick from here.”

And just like the myth of The Phoenix, where the bird lives for several hundred years before it dies by setting itself on fire, only to start a new life from the ashes of the fire, the Phoenix store be rebuilt and thrive.

Tent sale this weekend

The Phoenix is having a tent sale on Saturday, and Sunday, Aug. 12 and 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day.

All items will be 25 to 50 percent off.

“We’ll be fine,” Cosh said. “Life goes on and I have a great bunch of friends.”