THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- A Thomasville woman is closing her longtime bridal business and is about to embark on yet another adventure at 74 years old, after what seems like already a lifetime of adventures.
Rotha Dawkins owns Rotha's Formal and Bridal Wear on Main Street. She always loved fashion and learned to sew in high school.
"I loved the class, the big, gorgeous sewing machines. Then I designed 25 garments for a fashion show when I was graduating high school for my senior project. That gave me the money to go to New York on scholarship."
After designing, she modeled and then became a lady trucker! "I owned a furniture store in New York. I would deliver furniture up there and then bring the dresses down here," Dawkins says.
When she was driving the truck, she began writing about life on the road. Dawkins has published 10 trucker romance novels, some of them just a little steamy.
"My sister hid hers under the bed for a few years," she said.
Dawkins always dressed up, high heels and all, while driving the truck. People magazine featured her in a story about her about 10 years ago. "I would go into the truck stops, they'd see me. Everyone would know it was me. They'd all come out. That was feeling like a star, you know."
She says she learned an important life lesson along the way, one that has served her well. "Don't ask anybody to tell you what to do because you know in your heart what to do, where to go, who to love."
Dawkins says she has a long bucket list that she'd like tackle before she dies, including writing more books, getting one of her books turned into a movie, fishing in Alaska and spending time with her grandchildren.