Steve Bailey and Flo Frintzilas in Castelbuono, Sicily, in April.

Steve Bailey and Flo Frintzilas in Castelbuono, Sicily, in April.

Steve Bailey tells how he met his wife, Flo Frintzilas of Freeport.

I first met Flo at the Northstage Theatre Restaurant in Glen Cove in 1978. I was 23 and she was 20.

That first meeting did not go well because I had just been hired as the head stage electrician at Northstage, a job that Flo had been assured was hers and was surprised to learn that someone else got. Flo was the senior spotlight operator at the time and this other job would have been a promotion for her. She was looking forward to it and had been working at Northstage a year earlier than I had. She didn’t like me because I got the job she was expecting.

Although I was smitten with Flo from the start, I wondered why she kept her distance from me. Eventually I found out it was because of the job.

As we worked together for months, I tried to get her to go out with me and she kept saying no. Finally, she agreed to a date — mostly because she wanted me to stop asking.

Our first date was in 1978, and we went to My Father’s Place, in Roslyn, to see Kenny Rankin in concert. After that, we started dating regularly, but I knew I was leaving the job in September to attend SUNY Purchase to pursue a career in technical theater.

Steve Bailey and Flo Frintzilas in 1978, the year they...

Steve Bailey and Flo Frintzilas in 1978, the year they started dating. Credit: William Shutleworth

We had a lot in common because of our profession in the theater. When I left for college we dated long-distance and would drive back and forth to see each other. We kept in touch for a year, continually nurturing our relationship. I never finished college because I got a job offer to go on a national tour with the production of “Chicago” as the assistant electrician. Flo continued to work at Northstage in technical theater.

When my tour ended, I came back to Long Island in 1980 and resumed working at Northstage alongside Flo. At that point Flo had moved up to head of props. We decided to move in together, and we got our first apartment in Locust Valley. Subsequently, we spent about a year working together at Northstage on shows like “Shenandoah,” “My Fair Lady,” “Man of La Mancha” and “Grease,” among others.

I proposed to her at our apartment in March 1984 and, looking casually at a calendar, we decided to pick our wedding day for May 5. We were married at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of St. Paul in Hempstead, with a small wedding reception at Edmund’s Showcase Restaurant in Garden City attended by family and close friends. We danced to our wedding song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” by Tony Bennett. For our honeymoon, we spent a month traveling throughout Europe visiting France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland.

Flo and I have been together and happily married for 40 wonderful years, residing in Freeport since 1988. I retired in 2022 after a nearly 41-year career as lighting director at Brooklyn College’s Leonard & Claire Tow Center for the Performing Arts.

Flo recently retired after 25 years as a scenic artist with Local USA 829. She had an active career in the television and movie industry, including five years as scenic charge of the CBS Broadcast Center scene shop, as well as the Gateway Playhouse in Bellport from 1984 to 1988 and the Santa Fe Opera from 1990 to 2000.

We love camping in our small camper and also enjoy traveling around the world. We recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with a wonderful trip to Sicily and Rome.

With Lynn Petry

TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU MET. Email LILife@newsday.com, telling us how you met, how you became a couple and sharing the details of what makes your life together special. Publication is not guaranteed. Photos cannot be returned and may be used in other publications affiliated with Newsday

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