On Monday mornings, you can find Gersh Rosen with a group of fellows fixing antique tractors. Rosen has been a part of this group at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum at Micke Grove Park since he retired in 1991.
He taught high school agriculture for seven years and was a counselor at San Joaquin Delta College for 26 years.
The Lodi resident considers himself a full-time volunteer. He has worked with the Monday Mechanics for 15 years and is a member of the board of directors for the museum, the Micke Grove Zoological Society, the Mokelumne Rural Fire District and the county parks and recreation commission.
"There's a lot of things I'm interested in, and a lot of them are fun," he said, and being a volunteer, he has the opportunity to meet fun and interesting people.
Rosen enjoys history and agriculture, so naturally, being part of the Monday Mechanics was a good fit.
"It's the most fun group of people I've worked with in my life," he said.
For his devotion to education, agriculture and service, Rosen was nominated to the Lodi Community Hall of Fame. Other inductees this year include Jack Carter, a retired long-time Lodi business owner; the late Carl Wishek Sr., long-time leader of Farmers and Merchants Bank; Norman King, M.D., retired Lodi Memorial Hospital anesthesiologist; John and Gail Kautz, local farmers who have helped with 4-H and FFA and work in the wine business.
"His deep commitment to students, education, agriculture and community make him a worthy inductee," said Claude Brown in his nomination of Rosen.
Rosen was born in 1928 in the San Fernando Valley and was raised on his family's farm. They later moved to a small town called Cotati in Sonoma County. He graduated from Petaluma High School in 1946 and received a bachelor of science in agricultural science in 1951 from the University of California, Davis. He received his teacher's credential from the University of California, Polytechnic, where he later received a master's degree in agricultural education. He received a counselor's credential from California State University, Chico, in 1965.
He spent four years in the U.S. Air Force. He taught agriculture at Hamilton City High School for seven years and went on to be a counselor at San Joaquin Delta College.
"The principal (of the high school) told me I'd be a lousy administrator but would be a good counselor," Rosen said with a grin. "I like young people. I find them to be interesting. Most are very bright."
Brown had Rosen as a counselor at Delta College. He said Rosen was an excellent counselor, helping him with what classes and direction to take.
Rosen considers himself a newcomer to the county, even after living in the area for more than 30 years. He enjoys learning the history of the county and the agricultural equipment when he visits potential equipment donors.
In 1995, the Monday Mechanics had restored so many tractors inside the building by the museum that they needed more room. From there, Rosen began a fund-raising campaign. Now, 10 years later, a new set of buildings where tractors and farm equipment will be on display are set to be open later this year.
He also assists in fund-raisers for the museum and the zoological society. Whether it's cooking hamburgers, hauling chairs or organizing golf tournaments, he's there. Brown has seen the work that Rosen has done. He said Rosen is the one who stays late, cleaning up and scrubbing dishes after events; Rosen also has judged for 4-H and FFA and has always helped out where he can.
"He's a very caring person," Brown said.
Rosen's words of wisdom: "I enjoy people. I find that most, if you treat them well, they treat you well."
Contact reporter Jennifer Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org.