Thelma Rea has a long career as a business owner together with her husband. Their first venture began in 1971 when they bought nine run-down cottages on Table Rock Lake in the Ozarks and rented them for $11 to $17 a day. Along the way they encountered a remarkable assortment of guests and country neighbors, including the man who kept his dead mother in a Kenmore freezer for 56 days, trying to resurrect her. Despite their rough beginning, after eleven years of hard work, Bittersweet Resort became very successful. Read about their experiences in Bittersweet Resort, A Memoir of our Ozark Odyssey available in Amazon in print and Kindle. You can also see an impromptu interview with Thelma from her book signing at Dog-Eared Pages Bookstore here.
In 1982 they sold Bittersweet and moved to Phoenix where they bought Cooper’s Childrens’ Shoes in Thomas Mall (long since torn down). They expanded to four stores in Paradise Valley Mall, Arrowhead, Superstition Springs and Metrocenter. They retired after 20 years and Thelma began writing, first taking introductory courses at Phoenix College and graduate courses at ASU. She has written two unpublished novels besides her memoir Bittersweet Resort.