Home. Health. Happiness.

About Us

“ A small town is like the circle a wagon train makes at nightfall on the prairie: warming, protecting, connecting. Like the circle around this fire. ”

— Nancy Eberle (from her book Return to Main Street)

Because we believe in the small town way of living in community and connection, the mission of Vibrant Village is to be the voice of small towns and townspeople and explore the best of small town life. Readers are invited to share their wisdom and their stories about how to sustain vibrant communities where each of us can contribute, live, love and flourish.

About Vibrant Villagers

The inspiration to develop Vibrant Village came from a deep knowing that there are many of us who hunger for life filled with warm and caring connections, creativity, contribution and meaning. It's been my personal experience, and maybe it's been yours, too, that these connections are more easily found within the structure of a small town, most especially within a Vibrant Village.

I've found village life to be more simple, more approachable and more supportive. More connected. There are fewer layers; more accessibility. And while this is not true of every small town and village throughout the land, it is true in most every Vibrant Village.

We, and our columnists, all live in a particular vibrant village. While our voices and viewpoints are uniquely ours, we hope there's a universal chord that will appeal to other village dwellers.

Vibrant Village is for people who like to garden, live in—or are seeking—a special place to live, enjoy cooking or dining out, are inspired by books, art and music, frequent their local library, are drawn to natural places of beauty, like attending lively theater, dance and musical performances, and enjoy gathering for lively conversation, support and the sharing of food and ideas.

What's lively in our community is replicated—and sought—in other vibrant villages across this nation, and indeed, in vibrant villages in other countries throughout our world.

Our goal

Our goal is to shine a spotlight on these special places—and special people—who are making the connections, doing the deeds, taking the actions, and creating meaningful places to live our lives.

If your town's more sleepy than vibrant, let Vibrant Village be a resource of ideas and information to help ramp up your vibrancy quotient. Village Think Tank is a place to have a conversation about fostering economic vitality.

Many of our stories and contributions will come from you, our readers—the special townspeople of vibrant villages. Imagine this place as your place, a circle of wisdom, knowledge and sharing. Informational and inspirational.

My personal invitation—and wish—is that each reader will come to view Vibrant Village as a round table set in a fragrant garden; a welcoming place where ideas and community meet in lively dialogue. Where we help one another discover and grow our own personal vibrant villages.

If you'd like to contribute--and I hope you will--please comment after our posted stories, post your observations and questions on our forum, or share your stories in articles, essays, photographs and poetry.  Visit our Writer's Guidelines for details.

We send a big hello from our village to yours. Come step into the circle. We're saving a place for you.

Warm wishes,



Patricia-FrankPatricia Frank, Editor & Publisher

Patricia's been enamored with words and people and why we do the things we do all her life. Born in a small Pennsylvania town, she left after high school to 'get educated' and 'see the world.' She's been a social worker, written for advertising agencies and PR firms, run a marketing communications firm, and been a full-time journalist. Once again living in a small “vibrant village,” she's never been happier. It's “all about community, simplicity and shared adventures.”

Alan_FrankAlan Frank, Managing Editor

Alan has a passion for all things technical and all things maritime.  Michigan-born, the waters of the Great Lakes flow in his veins. He's designed loudspeakers as an acoustical engineer, is a computer networking specialist, and a technology editor. After moving to Beaufort, Alan earned a Coast Guard Captain's license, built a wooden boat with a couple of friends, captained a ferry boat for dolphin tours and island runs, and continues as a free-lance technical editor.


Chef-TomTom Foster, Kitchen Capers, “Chef Tom

Chef Tom started cooking when he was twelve years old and hasn't stopped since. After 25 years of teaching himself about cooking, he entered and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.  Among his favorite culinary subjects are evaluating and simplifying recipes, cooking meals for one, and making something good to eat from what’s on hand.

Constance-WarrenConstance Warren, Gardening, “The Constance Gardener”

Constance is a life-long North Carolinian and learned her gardening craft from her 'green-thumbed grandmother' who allotted Constance a small garden space and a package of pumpkin seeds and let her “have my way with it.” Today Constance continues to “practice” her gardening efforts at her home in Beaufort, North Carolina, assisted by her tribe of feline garden helpers.

Dail Neva Dail Bridges, Coming Home

Dail spent much of her growing up time in Carteret County, North Carolina. In 1984, Dail became a Foreign Fisheries Observer with the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Seattle. In 2008, after many years in the Pacific Northwest, and several years living overseas, Dail returned home to North Carolina and Beaufort, NC. The coast of North Carolina is where she feels most at home.

LeslieLes McCombs-Porter, More Books by Les

Les grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, the child of two university professors. With a master's degree in English-Composition and Rhetoric and teaching credentials for early childhood – high school as well as media specialist, Les has taught at university and high school. Now she divides her time as a poet, writer, avid reader, librarian, and photographer. She lives in down east North Carolina with her husband, a small armada of boats in various states of disrepair, two standard poodles, and a white cat.

BrooksBrooks, “Writing from Nature”

Brooks has simplified into using one name. She has spent most of her life on a coast and now she and her partner live in a wild North Carolina marsh. Nature feeds her and art of all kinds gives her expression. She has earned two graduate degrees and worked in education, therapy, art, theater and the marine world. Her poetry chapbook will be published in 2010.

sally-anger-150Sally Anger, Artful Village

Sally grew up in the coastal town of Beaufort, North Carolina after moving there at the age of nine. She has loved art all her life, and attended workshops and painted for many years. In 2002, Sally took the plunge and left a career as a nutritionist to pursue art full time.  She is grateful to make her living through the art she loves.  Sally paints and lives in Morehead City, NC.