Ralph’s attitudes and opinions were cast and tempered by his unique life experiences – first, growing up in a large family in a fundamentalist church organization in central New Jersey, later breaking out of this sheltered life to attend Rutgers University and find his true calling as an educator. Prior to this he worked at a variety of jobs which included hoeing weeds, painting houses, working on auto and television assembly lines, cleaning offices, typing and filing, mixing dyes, distributing truck parts and doing accounting. His education career, for which he did postgraduate work at Rutgers, Harvard and Arizona State, began in New Jersey and took him to Arizona, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Kuwait and Turkey. While overseas he was able to travel extensively in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. He is now retired and living in Scottsdale, Arizona and Dorset, Vermont. His writing has consisted of professional work for boards, parents and teachers and accounts of travel for relatives and friends. He looks forward to finally writing what’s on his mind.
Sheila Henkel said:
Hi Uncle Ralph,
I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your entries. I still have a file folder filled with treasured letters that you wrote while living in Kuwait and about your extensive travel experiences in the Middle East. Reading your carefully selected words has transported me along on your journeys!
Thanks for sharing! Sheila
David Schrader said:
Wow thank you for writing down all these memories. The history is really interesting – a truly American story. My sister and I have been doing some genealogy research and reading about Zarephath.
My father’s family lived in the area from about 1935 into the 1960s. His aunt, Eunice Leyland, was a member of the church. Eunice and her husband Jack are buried there. You mention their name in your cemetery section on your blog so I wonder what you recall of them.
Eunice’s parents Fred and Emmie Shrader lived on a farm on Applegarth Road in Mercer or Middlesex County until Emmie died in 1940.
On the just released 1950 census, we see Jack and Eunice Leyland listed in Zarephath along with her father Fred and her brother Lee – he was my grandfather.
We visited in 2018 before the most recent flooding.
I believe they may have lived in the yellow house on the Canal Road just up from main church buildings.
We don’t have much information about them so anything you might share would be most helpful.