Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


October 8, 2012

Pleasant Hill Ramblings: Rabert brings Ned Land to life

CROSSVILLE — Many of us, of a certain age, remember the awe and thrill we felt with the science fiction genre of Jules Verne, especially the famous book, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Although Disney made it into a movie, the exciting narrative and descriptions of an unimaginable undersea world explored by the technologically advanced submarine were much more vivid in our imaginations. Recently Will Rabert, the Pleasant Hill Monologist, portrayed Ned Land, the harpooner, who with Professor Aronnax find themselves in Captain Nemo’s submarine, the Nautilus, exploring the bottom of the sea. Although Rabert has given over 300 performances at churches, clubs, schools, libraries, business events, and senior citizen groups, this is the first time he has performed the Ned Land Monologue.

The narrator in the book is actually Professor Aronnax, but because the professor speaks with a French accent, Rabert felt he would give a more realistic portrayal of the Canadian Ned Land. And realistic it was, as the harpooner described the terror he felt at the end of the netting and beam extending from his whaling ship when confronted with what he thought was a gigantic narwhal. A narwhal is a medium sized toothed whale living in the Arctic Ocean that is hunted for its meat and ivory. The long pointed tusk is actually an elongated upper left canine tooth. Although not as large as most whales, it is a predator feeding on flatfish under dense ice. Rabert becomes Ned Land as he describes his terror as this huge creature rams his whaling ship causing it to sink. Ned is thrown clear and clings to the metal vessel that turns out not to be a narwhal, but a submarine. The details of life inside the Nautilus and subsequent adventures of Ned and the professor are described so vividly by Rabert, that it makes one want to reread the book.

Will Rabert, retired United Church of Christ minister, and his wife, Martha, moved to Pleasant Hill in 1997. His Bible interpretative monologues were so well received by his former congregations that he started writing his own monologues. He has presented 36 Bible characters and 12 fictional persons, writing most of their dialogues himself.

Although his Bible characters are based on real persons, he uses his imagination to develop their discourse. He has recently gleaned from the writings of and about two more recent figures to write and present monologues. The first was John Knox, Scottish clergyman and a leader of the Protestant Reformation, who brought reform to the church and is considered the founder of the Presbyterian Church. The other notable is the Rev. Robert Hall, a Methodist minister. Called to the ministry in his 50s, Rev. Hall spent his entire 15-year career (1916-1931) in the Cumberland Mountains, often turning down prestigious appointments elsewhere to do so. So devoted to ministry in the Cumberlands and so loved by the mountain people was Robert Hall, that he became known as “Bishop of the Cumberlands.”

Rabert will portray Rev. Hall at the annual meeting of the Methodist Laity of White County this month. He will present Rev. Hall at Fletcher House in Pleasant Hill on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 10 a.m., which is open to the public. Rabert has performed at three Wednesday noon Art Circle Library sessions.

For a list of characters or to have a performance at your church or group, contact Will at, or 248-0021 (cell) or 277-5424 (home). There is no cost as this is a labor of love.



Dr. Franklin Parker of Pleasant Hill was inducted into the West Virginia University's College of Human Resources and Education (WVU-HRE) Hall of Fame in Morgantown, WV on Oct. 5, 2012.

Text Only
  • On_the_dragon.jpg Road Trip: Region offers challenges, rewards for two-wheeled motorists

    Spring is in the air, and on the road. As the temperatures have steadily risen, so have the number of motorcycles you can find on the road any given weekend, as riders take to two wheels to explore the twisting roads that wind through the region.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo 15 Stories 1 Link

  • Around the Town: Stars will be shining in county this weekend

    Regardless of the weather this weekend, the stars will be shining. Cumberland County High School and Stone Memorial High School will host Prom 2014 Saturday evening... the county’s own “Red Carpet.”

    April 24, 2014

  • FOL sets spring book sale

    The last winter seems to have left the Plateau, and flowers are blooming. Everyone hopes that spring is finally here and that means summer is right around the corner and the need to think about summer reading on the beach or the porch.

    April 24, 2014

  • Melling, Sounds of the Country¬†at Hebbertsburg Community Center

    Jack Melling and Sounds of the Country will entertain at the Hebbertsburg Community Center on Saturday, May 3, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

    April 22, 2014

  • Marriage licenses (Published April 23, 2014)

    April 22, 2014

  • Pleasant Hill Ramblings CSA.jpg Pleasant Hill Ramblings: CSAs are a win-win situation

    Every Wednesday after 1 p.m. from May through October, there is a steady stream of people converging on the kitchen of Heritage Hall on Church St. in Pleasant Hill with baskets and bags. Inside the kitchen there is excited chatter as they discuss the array of vegetables, some varieties never tried before. Farmer Dave Myers and his helpers provide this largesse of vitamins to the members of the CSA.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • plateau gardening.jpg How to collect and submit soil sample

    Garry, a new resident in Crossville, emailed to ask how to gather a soil sample and where to take it to have testing done. Your local University of Tennessee Extension office is the place to go. Those in the Crossville area should call UT Extension Cumberland County at 484-6743. A staff person at the office can explain how to collect soil samples. (Those new in town who may not know where the Extension office is located may also call for driving directions.)

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 5-2 white cane days.jpg Lions Club White Cane Days returns May 2 & 3

    The Fairfield Glade and Crossville Lions Club members will hold their annual White Cane Days fundraiser Friday, May 2, and Saturday, May 3, at several locations. This is a major fundraiser throughout the state of Tennessee and many parts of the world to help assist blind, sight impaired and deaf individuals. This is an event that only happens once a year.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140412_110402.jpg Kids get creative at Youth Expo

    Cumberland Artisans for Creative Expression (CACE) held its annual Youth Expo Saturday, providing young people an opportunity to try their hand at a variety of artistic endeavors, from music and writing to painting and traditional crafts of weaving and spinning.

    April 17, 2014 4 Photos

  • AROUND THE TOWN: The Easter egg hunt that never was

    The Easter Bunny should be able to deliver his baskets in pretty nice weather this weekend. The Good Friday and Easter holiday weekend should feature much warmer temperatures than we had earlier this week when snow showers fell on Cumberland County. Cumberland County students were released Tuesday for spring break, but their last day of school for the week found snow and ice falling from the sky and temperatures in the 20s. Students will return to class on Monday.

    April 17, 2014

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide