By Brad Reynolds
Clyde Thomas Jr. was never interested in Facebook. He’s the kind of guy that prefers books to the internet. He likes his conversations face-to-face, not through words on a screen. So when Clyde was asked to help manage a Facebook page called “You Know You’re from Havre if…,” he never guessed he’d enjoy it as much as he does.
“This is a page where people post old pictures of Havre, stories, and memories,” Clyde explains.
Having grown up in Havre, he’s familiar with much of the town’s history but he’s always on the lookout for more.
“People have always shared history; Facebook is just the newest way of getting it out,” he says.
Clyde’s wife, Vicki, managed the Facebook page from 2011 to 2016 with Clyde’s cousin Susie Schend. When Vicki passed away in 2016, Susie encouraged Clyde to come aboard.
“Vicki posted a lot of nice photos,” Susie explains. “I knew Clyde loved history. I thought he had something to contribute.”
Susie says that she and Clyde are just a few of the many people who love Havre and its history. Some who have moved away from the community use the Facebook page to stay connected to their hometown.
“It brings back good memories,” says Susie.
It also sparks forgotten ones.
“Someone will see a photo or story and post, ‘My aunt worked there!’” Clyde explains. “It starts a discussion that brings more light to the subject.”
As current president of the Bearpaw Bowmen, Clyde wondered when the organization was started. He came upon a 1962 newspaper article that made reference to the archery club, and he posted it on “You Know You’re from Havre if…” Soon, other people replied to the post, filling in gaps, helping Clyde uncover more of the Bearpaw Bowmen’s roots.
“There’s so much history out there,” he says. “If we don’t share these memories, they get lost.”