After a 1995 visit, the Dalai Lama and actor Richard Gere, America’s celebrity Buddhist, stopped in [at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, in Atlanta, for soul food].
Mims recognized Gere. The Dalai Lama? Nope.
His crimson and saffron robes confused her when she saw him getting out of the car.
“I thought he was a lady Dalai Lama at first. Because somebody said the name Dolly, you know?”
“I didn’t know he was a big-time church man,” Mims said.
Gere and the bespectacled Dalai Lama strolled in, ate corn bread, vegetables, rolls and cheese grits.
“He loved it,” Mims remembered. “He blessed us and everything.”
Good thing, too. Because that same day, a Mary Mac’s employee wrecked his motorcycle. “He didn’t have a scratch on him,” said the suitably impressed Mims.