Posts Tagged ‘Miriam’s Espresso’

Stephanie Blas and family.

She’s special.

A lot of people came and went during my 12 years at Videoville, and Stephanie (Bonacci) Blas remains in the top 1% of my former co-workers.

Back in 2004, when Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights was all the rage — well, in her DVD player at least — I harassed Miramax, Lionsgate, Buena Vista International, and Ingram Entertainment in pursuit of anything and everything released to promote the film.

Stephanie thought the film’s star, Diego Luna (back before he starred in Star Wars: Rogue One), was the bee’s knees, so if there was a poster or piece of paper with him dancing on it, we needed to make sure someone was mailing it to Coupeville.

That was 18 years ago, and things have changed a bit since then.

Miss Bonacci became Mrs. Blas, and she and her husband Kevin — a pretty good dude who kind of looks like Diego Luna a bit, if you squint — are raising sons Liam and Luke.

I left Videoville in 2006, though I still see Stephanie from time to time, thanks to her being the aunt of several of Coupeville’s more prominent athletes.

At 37, one thing remains the same as it was when she was 19 — she is sunshine made human, one of the kindest people you will ever meet.

So, I wish this story was being written for some other reason.

The reality though, is Stephanie has been battling breast cancer since April.

She has Ductal Adenocarcinoma, ER/PR positive, HER2 negative, likely in late stage 2 or early stage 3.

Treatment will likely include chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, and will greatly disrupt life for Stephanie and her family.

With that in mind, as she begins her fight, Stephanie’s sister Sherry is launching a meal train to ease the transition.

Anything you can do, from meals to gift cards to prayer (if that’s your thing), will be a major help to a young woman who exudes grace, kindness, and joy in everything she does.


For more info or to sign-up, pop over to:



PS — If Diego Luna’s people see this, Stephanie could probably also use an updated photo. Just sayin’.

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Wendy and Matt Mikos and their children.

Time moves on, but some people remain with you forever.

After Videoville and Miriam’s Espresso went away, I saw a lot less of most people that I worked with there.

We all found different paths — some here on Whidbey, others far away.

But we remain connected by our time spent together in the store, and while I may have seen Wendy (Frost) Mikos just a handful of times since 2006, she has never been far from my thoughts.

Wendells is one of the special ones, a warm-hearted, whip-smart young woman who was one of Coupeville’s favorite baristas as she navigated high school and college.

Yes, she once spread Crisco over every inch of my car — effectively “winning” a store-wide prank war in savage fashion.

And yet, I still snuck down to the store at 5 AM to clock her in on the computer on days when she struggled to break free from the comforts of her bed.

Wendy is one of the loveliest human beings to grace this world, so, while managers aren’t supposed to play favorites, of course I did.

The day she married her high school sweetheart, Matt Mikos, was a win for all involved.

He was always, for want of a better description, a righteous dude, and seeing them grow together, eventually building a family of six, made my heart happy.

The news of Matt’s sudden passing, at age 38, is a shock.

Wendy’s children, who range in age from 11 to nine months, have lost a huge part of their lives, as she has also.

The coming days, months, and years will not be easy to navigate, but, with the help of family and friends, I hope they find some peace.

In the moment, every bit of support from the community helps.

Wendy’s brother, Tad, has set up a GoFundMe to ease some of the immediate financial burden, and I hope, if you’re able, you consider helping.


To help the family, pop over to:


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