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Deer drops in at village pottery shop

For Anne Romanello, Sunday afternoon was turning out to be a nice, busy day in her pottery shop.

Her 70-year-old mother, Anne Dempsey, was visiting, and a couple of mothers and their daughters were putting the finishing touches on some of the white pottery that her customers paint.

That was at about 3:30 p.m., before she got a visitor.

Romanello was checking out one mom and her 12-year-old daughter at the front counter of her shop, Village Clay.

The visitor entered -- hooves first -- through the plate glass window that runs the length of Romanello's store in the Village of Orchard Park.

"I was in a serious car accident last summer, and the sound resembled that," said Romanello. "I thought a car hit the building."

The antique 1840s bookcase that was in front of the window pitched forward, scattering kids videos and shattering the pottery that had been on its shelves on the floor. It missed the nearby TV.

Drapes covered that section of window behind the bookcase, and from it emerged a deer -- antlerless but large. The window had vanished.

Dempsey and the 12-year-old ducked behind the counter. Toward the back of the 100-foot long studio, another mother and her 9-year-old ran into the back area of the shop.

Romanello's mother hid behind a chair.

"What did you think that was going to do for you?" Romanello asked her later.

The deer made a dash across the studio and hit a door. Then it charged toward the studio's birthday party room, hitting a safety glass window. It bounced off it, leaving a spidered crack.

By then, Romanello was calling 911, and the mother by the counter had run over to the door and opened it. The deer, spraying blood, plunged back out into the snow and disappeared across North Buffalo Road.

"It could have been terribly, terribly worse," said Romanello. "Everybody's OK except for our poor friend the deer. A lot more people could have gotten hurt, and a lot more could have gotten broken.

"Everything that was on that shelf was broken, so I will have some explaining to do. But I'll have an interesting story."


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