Purdue prof clears doughnut debt after 42 years


A sweet story about a Purdue University professor and his long-lost pal with a hole in his history has finally been filled.

"It was Orioles meets Yankees," said Professor Glenn Sparks, "and Bullets versus Knicks."

Sparks and his buddy Harold Thistle, now a Florida teacher, grew up in New Jersey, graduating from high school in 1971. They wagered all the time on their favorite Baltimore-New York matchups.

"I paid my debts in doughnuts," said Sparks. "Because my dad owned a doughnut shop."

But when Sparks and Thistle rolled their own ways after high school, Sparks' donut debt went unpaid. He was in the hole for 17 dozen donuts.

Then came the recent American League division race between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees. Thanks to Facebook, Sparks and Thistle, now reunited, decided to double down on that old doughnut debt.

But Sparks says, "Yanks win the division, I'm down 34 dozen donuts now."

After so many years, Sparks wanted to bring things full circle with Thistle. So he called a Florida sportswriter to do the drop at Thistle's door.

"I'm a representative of Glenn Sparks," said Sun Sentinel sports reporter Michael Berardino as he and his son dropped off 34 boxes of donuts at Thistle's door.

When Berardino dropped off the dough, Thistle picked up the phone to Lafayette.

"I got 34 dozen donuts," he told Sparks. "But you have peace of mind because, do you realize, for the first time in 42 years, you don't owe Harold Thistle donuts. I mean that's got to be a big relief."

"It is," said Sparks. "It's really about long-term friendship for me."

Now, an old donut debt is squared. So Sparks' wagering days are behind him, right?

"Probably not," he said.

Now, he wagers coffee on Purdue.

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