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Bottles, cars and the periodic table

Many trinkets line the walls bringing a sense of comfort to one man in Founders Hall.

in his own words:

quick facts:

  • Name: John Farrar
  • Location: Founders Hall
  • Position: Director of Center for Integrative Natural Science
  • Most Interesting Part of Office: Several collections

Born in Tennessee, John Farrar's office is now his home away from home on the fifth floor of Founders Hall.

Surrounded by several trinkets sits the director of the Center for Integrative Natural Science and Math (CINSAM).

"I spend a lot of time here and so I like that it's kind of homey," Farrar said. "It reminds me of the different places I've been, the places I've seen and worked."

Hanging from the walls are posters that Farrar has collected over the years that bring to mind memories of trips past.

"Most everything in here has some kind of story behind it," Farrar said.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of Farrar's office is the window lined completely with old glass bottles.

"The bottle collection started when I was a kid," Farrar recalled. "We built a house and as we were building the house we found a couple of old bottles that were buried in the yard and so that started it… some of them are gifts from students or others, from a camping trip, the little bottle of Tabasco sauce is from an MRE [meals ready-to-eat] when we went camping… just bottles that are interesting shapes from interesting places."

Boldly bringing attention to the corner of his office is the color of bright orange. Paying homage to his roots Farrar has a corner dedicated to the Volunteer State.

"I was raised in middle Tennessee and then moved to southeast Kentucky," Farrar said. "The Tennessee fan was kind of a reaction to all of the Kentucky fans in Williamsburg."

Not too far from the Tennessee paraphernalia are old train cars and classic model cars.

"We had a basement and my dad built this train track on a full sheet of plywood and so I had a big train set and so that's the pieces that I have left and then the cars are gifts from my mom when I was in college," Farrar said of the antique looking items on top of his cabinet.

As for favorite, how is one man to pick from the several objects in this apparently not so small of an office?

"The favorite!" Farrar exclaimed. "I like my gas mask, I like my element collection… wow, just lots of stuff. Like I said, everything has a story."