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ONRUST GRACES OUR BEAUTIFUL NAVESINK

Against a backdrop of mansions and motorboats, a replica of the Onrust (pronounced AHN-roost) spent a glorious weekend sailing the Navesink River, periodically firing its cannons and giving some 450 visitors a sense of 17th-century maritime life.

The 44-foot-long ship’s three-day visit, arranged by the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association as a dual celebration of the 350th anniversary of the settlement of Monmouth County and as a fundraiser, included stops in Red Bank and Fair Haven, and ended with its departure for home in Watertown, New York, on Monday. (Photos by John T. Ward. Mouseover to pause.)

RED BANK: ONRUST ARRIVES IN GRAND STYLE

onrust 060614 1 onrust 060614 2The Onrust, a replica of the first deck-covered ship built in colonial America, heads up the Navesink River past the Oceanic Bridge Thursday afternoon. The vessel will spend the weekend in Red Bank and Fair Haven. Here’s the schedule of activities, which includes public tours. will berth for two days at Marine Park. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: REPLICA SHIP TO DOCK IN JUNE

Onrust 1The Onrust, a replica of the first deck-covered ship built in colonial America, will berth for two days at Marine Park. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

They were the tractor-trailers of their day, hauling cargo from port to port in an era when inland roads were all but nonexistent.

Seventeenth-century sailing ships such as the Onrust plied the waters surrounding New Amsterdam, carrying produce and other goods from port to port.

“It’s how everything moved,” according to Michael Humphreys, a board member with the Navesink Maritime Heritage Association. “There were no roads worth traveling,” and hacking one’s way through the woods could get a visitor killed by an unwelcoming Native American, he said.

In June, the NMHA will bring a replica of the Onrust to rust-colored banks of Red Bank. But don’t say the name as it appears: the word is pronounced “AHN-roost.”

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SHREWSBURY: HONORING ONE TO HONOR ALL

Michael Aufiero in his Shrewsbury workshop. Below, the frame of his display case for the replica of the U.S.S. Houston being readied for shipment to the Navy Museum. (Photo above by Dan Natale; others courtesy of Michael Aufiero. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE and JOHN T. WARD

Shrewsbury’s Michael Aufiero was balancing two careers – restaurateur and woodworker – a few years back when his lifelong best friend, Johnny Schwarz, called him with a request.

Schwarz heads up a World War II veterans’ organization, the U.S.S. Houston (CA-30) Survivors Association, founded by his late father. He was overseeing the refurbishment of the original scale-replica of the ship, a heavy cruiser that was sunk by the Japanese in the early days of World War II. The replica would be donated to the the National Museum for the United States Navy in Washington. It needed a display case. Would Aufiero build it?

Aufiero, who owns Red Bank’s Front Street Trattoria with his wife, Valerie, was reluctant to take on the task. His wood shop was about mantelpieces and wall units for home entertainment systems, not something as freighted with meaning as this.

But Aufiero had known Otto Schwarz, and knew his story: how he had survived 20 hours in the sea as the Japanese machine-gunned the water; his three-and-a-half-year ordeal in a prison-of-war camp in Burma as a member of the slave labor contingent depicted in “The Bridge on the River Kwai;” the horrific beatings he endured in a camp in Saigon.

Aufiero felt an obligation to honor both Schwarz and the sailors who had served with him.

“There’s not a lot of men I look up to in my life,” Aufiero said. “He was one of them.”

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BACK TO THE ARCHIVE

Stumbling on this scene in downtown Red Bank Monday night was like a trip back into the not-too-distant reaches of the redbankgreen archive, as Chris LoBue of CLB Photography shot photos of Jim Caroll’s Back to the Future car for an ad for Ken Kalada’s Yestercades – three businesses that have been featured in these pixelated pages in recent months. (Click to enlarge)