Michael Onorato

Son of Steeplechase Park's general manager, James Onorato

Michael Onorato


Michael Onorato is the son of James Onorato, who was the general manager of Steeplechase Park from 1928 to 1964 when it closed.  Michael remembers the park in vivid detail and describes growing up there.  He gives a start-to-finish account of going on the Parachute Jump and the Steeplechase ride including details long forgotten by most visitors about how the staff operated the rides. He describes the stage where riders would exit the Steeplechase ride including a vent that would blow ladies' skirts high in the air and clowns who would move the men along with electric cattle prods. It was a different (less litigious) time and while there were complaints, Onorato says it took a serious incident that sent a worker to the hospital before the stage was finally closed down for good in the 1960's.

Michael Onorato passed away on March 15, 2023 at the age of 88.