Renaissance man John Klier: accomplished author, antique phone collector, exotic plant cultivator

Freshman John Klier certainly has a wide range of interests. This book-writing, bonsai-tree owning, antique phone-collecting English major is also the president of Onondaga hall council and is dedicated wholeheartedly to every one of his fascinating hobbies.

Let's start with book writing. Klier started reading at an early age and never looked back.     "On a camping trip in seventh grade, my dad read me the Lord of the Rings series," Klier said. Enthralled with the work, Klier started and eventually finished his own 375-page fantasy novel throughout high school.

He's currently starting another one, describing his new endeavor as "darker than the last."

"It's more serious as well, both in how I'm writing it and in the subject matter," he said. Though he wasn't about to offer a sneak peak, Klier said it's going to be dystopian, post-apocalyptic fiction and will hopefully be finished before he graduates.

Next on Klier's plate – or rather, desk – are the 10 plants that he owns and maintains in his dorm room. "When I was shopping for furniture during move-in, I saw a cactus at a Walmart and picked it up," Klier said. "Since then, I've added two bonsai trees, some bamboo and a few more cacti." Fortunately, he said that his roommate has been open-minded about them.

Klier was also recently voted Onondaga Hall president, beating out five other candidates for the position. It ranks as the best aspect of college so far for Klier.  

"I really enjoy hall council," he said. "It's great both planning out big community-wide events as well as small hall events." Onondaga has recently hosted Asocksination, a game that actually turned a recent hall council meeting into what sounded like all-out war. Klier wants to plan more South Village-oriented events, one of which could potentially be Southside Prom, but further details will be released later.

Klier also has a history of collecting eccentric objects. Starting with random bits of electrical equipment when he was a child, he has since taken up collecting old telephones. From old rotary-dial phones to truly antique wooden crank ones with different ear and mouth pieces, Klier has gone from antique shops, shows and garage sales to find dated telephones.

"I recently picked up a metal rotary-dial one for $125 that could be worth $600," Klier said, adding that he doesn't collect them so much for the money as for the history. He even acquired one that was operated on the battlefield during World War I, and owns others that date back to 1921.

In addition to all this, Klier has a striking resemblance to Eric Foreman from "That ‘70s Show"; he is often referred to as "Foreman" by those at Geneseo who know him.

Many people get to college and develop their interests over time, but Klier, through an eclectic mix of hobbies and responsibilities, has already brought his share to the table.