Kingston picnic celebrates Fourth, honors Drane

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 5, 2001

KINGSTON – More than 90 people attended a picnic at Kingston’s community center Wednesday to celebrate the Fourth of July — and remember one of their most influential residents.

That morning, a small monument was unveiled in memory of longtime Kingston resident, politician and conservationist H.B. Drane Sr.

&uot;A leader in conservation,&uot; the monument reads, &uot;he sponsored legislation resulting in conservation of a wildlife management area program.&uot;

&uot;I’m pleased with the turnout, especially for a summer day,&uot; said one of Drane’s sons, Earl Drane, an organizer of the Happy Birthday America Celebration/Miss-Lou Gala.

Earl Drane has been working for four years to get the Sandy Creek Wildlife Management Area renamed after his father.

H.B. Drane Sr., a World War I veteran, also served three terms in the Mississippi House of Representatives and served as an Adams County supervisor for one term.

Afterward, those attending the picnic listened to a variety of live music ranging from patriotic songs to gospel to rock ‘n’ roll — and ate 250 pounds of catfish, complete with the fixings.

The Miss-Lou Veterans Alliance sponsors a similar Independence Day celebration almost every year, but Jeanette Jones of Kingston said Wednesday was the first time she had attended the event.

&uot;I decided to come because we live just down the road here, and I’ve enjoyed it so far,&uot;&160;said Jones, who sat in a lawn chair listening to the Southern rock sounds of the band &uot;Southern Pride.&uot;

Jones said she also attended Wednesday’s event to hear the group Higher Call from Springfield Baptist Church sing later in the day.

Other musical acts participating in the gala included the Frankie Jordan family of McComb, Audrey Laird & Co. of Natchez and Greg Wheat of Smithdale.

Pete Oglesby of Meadville said he attended the event to support the Drane family and to visit nearby Courtland Plantation, where his grandfather lived in the 1940s.

&uot;I came here because of my roots,&uot; Oglesby said.

Frankie Jordan of Franklin County is also a friend of Earl Drane and his wife, Mary.

&uot;So I’ve tried to come every time they’ve had something,&uot;&160;Jordan said. &uot;Earl does a really good job — a lot of hard work goes into something like this.&uot;