Jodi Baglien Sparkes '98 and Bill Sparkes '99
|Jodi Baglien Sparkes and Bill Sparkes were married Sept. 23, 2000, on the UW-Eau Claire campus.
Where and how did you meet at UW-Eau Claire?
JBS: Bill was a freshman, I was a sophomore. We met in January ‘95, in Towers Hall through mutual friends. We all lived in Towers North and were all in the dorms early for various reasons (I was working on campus and Bill was quite involved with housing). Without school in session, the four of us had extra time, so we went inline skating at Skate America.
BS: That's pretty much it on how we met. Jodi and I, as well as our two other friends, spent most of the next two weeks together before classes started again, Hilltop Cafe for dinners, movies in each other's rooms and the like.
Was it a “love connection” at first?
JBS: More or less. Short of Valentine’s, three weeks after meeting, where Bill went a little overboard with a three-foot teddy bear and roses, which scared me off for a couple weeks. But it didn’t take too much for us to get back together. We just had a lot in common.
BS: It didn't take too long for "the love connection" to happen— we did have a lot in common. In my defense regarding Valentine's Day, I'm a generous guy, Still am … and I'll admit after three weeks it probably was viewed as a little creepy. Her old roommate let me in her room so it was a "surprise." If you know anything about Jodi, she doesn't appreciate surprises — though the rest of her floor seemed to think it was sweet. I swear the entire floor was in her room, "ooing and ahhing" when she called me to chastise my over generous behavior.
Who made the first move?
JBS: Bill was definitely the persistent one. He’s a lot more outgoing than me.
BS: Persistent and outgoing definitely — go figure I became a sales guy. But Jodi is a little shy too. I couldn't even get a kiss for a few weeks, not that I didn't try. What is it they say, "The more they run away, the more you want them?" We had a ski trip scheduled with some other friends a few weeks after the Valentine's Day debacle, and I snuck one that weekend. After that the kisses came a little easier.
Is there a place on campus that is special for the two of you?
JBS: We love spending time in Putnam Park, along the river and the bike trail.
BS: I'd have to agree with that. We spent a lot of time by "the rock" in Putnam Park, took bike rides and rollerbladed around a lot on the bike trails and such.
How long have you been married?
JBS: Married Sept. 23, 2000.
BS: That would be 7 years — longer if you consider when we met in the winter of '95.
What is your fondest memory as a couple that connects you to UW-Eau Claire?
JBS: Going to the Viennese Ball is definitely one of the cooler things we’d do as students. And, friends. Many of our best friends today are ones we met on campus. Bill was also in Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, which was memorable for both of us. Being involved and both working on campus definitely helped us feel very attached to UW-Eau Claire.
BS: It has nothing to do with campus life, but one of my fondest memories is taking Jodi on her first plane ride in the fall my sophomore year to visit my aunt in Savannah, Ga. We left in a blizzard, took us 3-4 hours to get to the airport in Minneapolis, plus a few hours' wait at the terminal. But we got out and back just fine. If we didn't meet in college … I dunno … she may never have flown at all. (She'll hit me for that later, but that's okay.) V-Ball is definitely up there as a memory, as well as the crazy parties we used to have at our house at 440 Summit for APO, and the friends we made and still have. There are about a dozen of us that still stay in touch from college. I don't know if it's a fond memory, but the record 56 fire drills the fall of my sophomore year in Towers definitely made it interesting. Jodi would crash in my room instead of waiting for the elevators, or walking up nine flights of stairs after those fire drills.
We are donors to UW-Eau Claire.
We own a few student rentals.
We are an international student host family.