Larry Michalove

[14 FEB 1933 - D2 - 20391]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove at their new Home
[Ponte Vedra, FL - Grandparent's Day 2021]



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Michalove Family Caribbean cruise
[59th wedding anniversary celebration - AUG 2019]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove and granddaughter, Grace Freedman
[Ponte Vedra, FL high school valedictorian - MAY 2019]



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Larry Michalove
[Italy Trip - APR 2019]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove
[Italy Trip - APR 2019]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove
[Italy Trip - APR 2019]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove and family celebrate his 85th birthday
[Royal Caribbeans Oasis of the Seas - JUL 2018]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove celebrate their 58th Anniversary
[Brios Restaurant, Mountain Brook AL - JUN 2018]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove aboard the Queen Mary 2
[Montmorency Falls near Quebec City, Canada - OCT 2017]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove
[57th Anniversary - JUN 2017]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove sailing aboard the MS Zuiderdam
[Cartagena - Colombia Naval Museum - JAN 2017]



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Enslow's and Michalove's
[Atlanta Botanical Gardens/Chihuly - MAY 2016]



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['55 Mini-Cruise: APR 2016]



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Sybil Michalove and Jim Darrah
['55 Mini-Cruise: APR 2016]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove
['55 Mini-Cruise: APR 2016]



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Sandy Wargowsky and Sybil Michalove
['55 Mini-Cruise: APR 2016]



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Sybil Michalove
['55 Mini-Cruise: APR 2016]



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Michalove's and Meisenheimer's
['55 Mini-Cruise: APR 2016]



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Dianne Enslow - Quinn - Meisenheimer's - Michalove - Hilbert
['55 Mini-Cruise: APR 2016]



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Cardillo - Werner's - Michalove
['55 Mini-Cruise: APR 2016]



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Katherine Jeter - Bob and Karin Werner - Teri Tucker - Michalove's
['55 Mini-Cruise: APR 2016]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove attending Founders Day with son David and Granddaughter Sarah at 'The Club' atop Red Mountain in Birmingham - Alabama [MAR 2016]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove's 55th Anniversary Family Cruise
[JUL 2015]



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Pam Trobaugh and Michalove's
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Sybil Michalove - Jack Doyle - Linda Newton - Quinn's
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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John Feagin and Michalove's
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Ruth Sloan and Sybil Michalove
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Pirkey - Michalove - Finley - Phillips
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Wargowsky - Secord - Michalove - Bergen
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Carol Riggs - Michalove - Pemberton - Lilly
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Quinn's and Michalove's
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Quinn's - Michalove's - Carol Riggs
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Larry Michalove
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Michalove's
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Phillips' - Carol Riggs - Sybil Michalove - McCulla's -
Quinn's [60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Sybil Michalove @ Times Square
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Sybil Michalove and part of 'Ike"
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Michalove's
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Michalove's
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Michalove's - Quinn's - Phillips' - McCulla's - Carol Riggs
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Michalove's - Lynn's - Strom's - Wheeler's - Nicole
Vitale and Fred Pirkey [60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Hasbrouck's - Strom's - Pirkey - Nicole Vitale - Michalove's
[60th Reunion - May 2015]



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Larry Michalove Zip Lining
[Costa Rica - AUG 2014]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Bill Peters - Phil Enslow - Bill Haas - Dick Hoeferkamp -
Larry Michalove [Buddy Roberts Funeral - JAN 2014]



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Bill Peters - Phil Enslow - Mary King - Bill Haas - Dick Hoeferkamp -
Larry Michalove [Buddy Roberts Funeral - JAN 2014]



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Dianne Enslow - Carolyn Cumbie - Sybil and Larry Michalove -
George Meighen [Buddy Roberts Funeral - JAN 2014]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Mary King - Dianne and Phil Enslow - Sybil and Larry
Michalove [Buddy Roberts Funeral - JAN 2014]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove
[Buddy Roberts Funeral - JAN 2014]



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Laura and Bill Haas - Larry and Sybil Michalove -
Buddy Roberts [Birmingham Mini Wheels - OCT 2013]



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Bob Thornquist and Larry Michalove
[WPSSV Luncheon - SEP 2013]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove - children and grandchildren celebrate
Larry's 80th [Cruise Ship 'Allure of the Seas' - JUL 2013]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Michalove's - Jim Darrah - ? - Jim Fleeger
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Larry Michalove
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Woerner's - Ed Trobaugh - ? - Jack Campbell - Larry
Michalove [Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Jack Campbell and Larry Michalove
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Libby Munroe and Larry Michalove
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Sybil Michalove and Carla Hilbert
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Don Hilbert and Michalove's
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Carol Riggs and Michaloves's
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Botanical Gardens Guide - Peter's - Malone's - Sybil Michalove -
Tommy West - Laura Haas [Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Larry Michalove - Japanese Garden Guide - Fiscus' -
Dinwiddie's - Libby Munroe [Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Joan McCulla - Libby Munroe - Bob Werner - Larry Michalove - Paula
Campbell - Bill McCulla - Sandra Lynn [Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Bernadette Dugan - Sharon Peters - Lynn - Woerner -
Michalove [Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Larry Michalove and Libby Munroe
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Larry Michalove
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Marcia Giza and Sybil Michalove
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Michalove's and Bill Haas
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Rich Cardillo and Sybil Michalove
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Ed Trobaugh and Larry Michalove
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Larry Michalove - Maggie Miller - Enslow's - Werner's - Gary
Munroe - Gennie Woerner [Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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McCulla's - Carol Riggs - Werner's - Michalove's
[Birmingham Mini - APR 2013]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove and Native Plant Group friends
[Larry's 80th Party - FEB 2013]



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Standing: Whittaker - Jeter - Pemberton - Dunaway - Enslow - Michalove - Johnson - Hadly - Sydenham - Seated: Haas - Secord - Prater - Roberts [Drummond Service - OCT 2012]



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Jeanne Drummond - grandchild - Larry and Sybil Michalove
[Drummond Service - OCT 2012]



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Sybil Michalove - Bob Meisenheimer - Larry Michalove
[Palm Coast FL - AUG 2012]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove in Israel atop Masada with the Dead Sea in the Distance (Alabama is spelled out in Hebrew letters on their shirts) [MAY 2012]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove
[Austria - NOV 2011]



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Larry Michalove - Buddy Roberts - Bill Haas
[Birmingham FDD - APR 2011]



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Michalove's - Haas' - Buddy Roberts and Carolyn
Cumbie [Birmingham FDD - APR 2011]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove and Family
[50th Anniversary Cruise - JUL 2010]



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Hugh and Ann Quinn - Sybil and Larry Michalove -
Diann Gottron [55th Reunion - May 2010]



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D-2: Heye's - Michalove's - Val Bundren - Mary Monahan - Meisenheimer and Deloris Cassidy - Quinn's - McCulla's [55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Sitting: Mary Monahan - Val Bundren - Heye's - Meisenheimer - Standing: Quinn's - McCulla's - Dee Cassidy - Michalove's [55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Jim Heye - Sybil and Larry Michalove
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Val Bundren - Sybil and Larry Michalove -
Rod Vitty [55th Reunion - May 2010]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Val Bundren - Michalove's - Heye's
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *





D-2: Heye's - Dee Cassidy and Bob Meisenheimer - Michalove's - Mary Monahan - McCulla's - Quinn's - Val Bundren [55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Larry Michalove and Bob Thornquist
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Michalove's and Jim Heye
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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McCulla's - Michalove's - Heye's - Quinn's
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Tom Philips - Larry and Sybil Michalove
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Dee Cassidy - Sybil Michalove - Joan McCula - Larry
Michalove [55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Sybil Michalove - Joan McCulla - Larry Michalove
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Bob Meisenheimer and Larry Michalove
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *





Val Bundren - Mary Monahan - Bill and Joan McCulla - Dee Cassidy and Bob Meisenheimer - Larry and Sybil Michalove - Jim and Bettie Heye - Ann and Hugh Quinn [D-2: 55th Reunion]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *





Roy and Sandra Lynn - Larry and Sybil Michalove - Joe and Connie Franklin - Paul Parks - Brownie and Dave Pemberton - Bob and Linda Newton - Pete and Angee Fikaris [55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove - ? and Dick Regnier
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Joe and Connie Franklin - Paul Parks - Sandra Lynn - Larry and Sybil Michalove - Dick Regnier [55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Larry Michalove - Hugh and Ann Quinn - Jim and Jeanne Drummond - ? - Mary Monahan - Val Bundren [55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Sybil Michalove and Anna Bates
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Tom Phillips - Larry and Sybil Michalove
[55th Reunion - May 2010]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove
[Paris - MAY 2009]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove
[Austin Mini - APR 2008]



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Mary Monahan - Sybil and Larry Michalove
[Austin Mini - APR 2008]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Mary Monahan - Bob Meisenheimer - Sybil and
Larry Michalove [Austin Mini - APR 2008]



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Bill McCulla - Jim Heye - Mary Monahan - Roy Thorsen - Sybil Michalove - Bob Meisenheimer - Larry Michalove - Bob Werner [Austin Mini - APR 2008]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove
[Austin Mini - APR 2008]



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Bill and Joan McCulla - Mary Monahan - Sybil
Michalove [Austin Mini - APR 2008]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove
[Austin Mini - APR 2008]



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Sybil Michalove - Al and Dottie Spaulding
[Austin Mini - APR 2008]



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Sybil and Larry Michalove
[Austin Mini - APR 2008]



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Roy Thorsen - Larry and Sybil Michalove
[Austin Mini - APR 2008]



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Roy Thorsen - ? - Larry and Sybil Michalove - Art
Follett - Tour Guide [Austin Mini - APR 2008]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *





Jim Fiscus - Art Follett - Natalie Wilcox - Carl Bossert - Laura and Bill Haas - Larry and Sybil Michalove [Austin Mini - APR 2008]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Sybil Michalove - Patty Page - Tommy West - Kathy Graham -
Jim Drummond - Barb Blahuta [Austin Mini - APR 2008]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Mary Blitch - Nancy and Jim Cutchin - Larry Michalove - Bill and
Joan McCulla - Maggie Miller [Austin Mini - APR 2008]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Larry and Sybil Michalove - ?
[Austin Mini - APR 2008]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *





D2: Thorsen - Mary Monahan - Werner - Joan McCulla - Jim and Bettie Heye - McCulla - Sybil Michalove - Meisenheimer - Michalove [Austin Mini - APR 2008]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Sloan's - Bob Meisenheimer - Michalove's - Rich Miller's -
Doris (Mize's Friend) [China Trip - MAY 2007]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Rich Miller - Joel Hetland '56 - Larry Michalove -
Bob Meisenheimer [China Trip - MAY 2007]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Michalove's and Ruth Sloan
[China Trip - MAY 2007]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Larry and Sybil Michalove
[China Trip - MAY 2007]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Larry and Sybil Michalove
[China Trip - MAY 2007]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Larry Michalove
[China Trip - MAY 2007]



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Doris and Sybil Michalove
[China Trip - MAY 2007]



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Larry and Sybil Michalove
[China Trip - MAY 2007]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Rich Miller's - Michalove's - Ruth Sloan - Bob
Meisenheimer and Doris [China Trip - MAY 2007]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Larry and Sybil Michalove
[China Trip - MAY 2007]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Michalove's and Ruth Sloan
[China Trip - MAY 2007]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Larry and Sybil Michalove
[China Trip - MAY 2007]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *





West - Hilbert - McCulla - Doyle - Roades - Karam - Michalove - Walt Boge (friend) - Thorsen - Quinn - Sy Kaback (golfing buddy) - Pete Beczkiewicz '51 (Bob Carlisle - friend is hidden from view) [Honorary Pallbearers: Al Bundren Funeral - DEC 2006]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Sybil and Larry Michalove - Ruth Sloan
[Al Bundren Funeral - DEC 2006]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Quinn - Bundren - Heye - Michalove
[JUL 2006]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



[50th Reunion Bio]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Meisenheimer - Dolores - and Michalove's
[50th Reunion]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Larry Michalove - Bob Meisenheimer - Hugh Quinn - Roy Thorsen
Rob Cummins - Bob Russell - Bill McCulla [50th Reunion]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Ann and Hugh Quinn - Rob Cummins - Larry and Sybil
Michalove - Joan and Bill McCulla [50th Reunion]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Rob Cummins - Larry and Sybil Michalove -
Joan and Bill McCulla [50th Reunion]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *





Wynne Stern - Bob Meisenheimer - Dee Cassidy - Roy Thorsen - Joan McCulla - Rob Cummins - Hugh and Ann Quinn - Bill McCulla - Val and Al Bundren - Sybil and Larry Michalove - Kay and Larry Stockett - Mary Monahan and Jack Doyle [50th Reunion]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *





D-2: Stern - Stockett - Russell - Michalove - McCulla - Bundren - Cummins - Quinn - Meisenheimer - Thorsen [50th Reunion]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Kay Stockett - Roy Thorsen - Lo Dienst - ? -
Marcia Cathey - Larry Michalove [50th Reunion]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *





Ann and Hugh Quinn - Wynne and Sheila Stern - Larry Michalove - Ed Zaborowski - Sybil Michalove - Jane Zaborowski - Val and Al Bundren - Mary Monahan - Paula and Jack Campbell [50th Reunion]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Lucas - Wheeler - Michalove
[50th Reunion]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Val and Al Bundren - Mary Monahan - Larry and
Sybil Michalove [JUN 2003 Russia Trip]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Larry and Sybil Michalove
[JUN 2003 Russia Trip]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Paul Parks - Sybil Michalove - Mary Monahan - Al and Val
Bundren - Marlowe Viney [JUN 2003 Russia Trip]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *





Larry Michalove - Dick Traut - Rich Miller - Jim Bergen - Dave Wheeler - Paul Sper USMA '59 - Bob Meisenheimer with recently minted Russian 2nd Lts [JUN 2003 Russia Trip]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *





Minich - Bazilwich - Meisenheimer - Sloan - Bundren - R Miller (kneeling) - Traut - Howie Stone - Follett - Maurer (part hidden) - Ship captain - Fiscus - Parks - Wheeler - J Strickland - Werner - Black - Bergen - Michalove - Tennant [JUN 2003 Russia Trip]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Meisenheimer - Larry and Sybil Michalove
[APR 2003 Florida Mini]



* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



Michalove - Woodruff x55 - Meisenheimer - Fontaine - Thorsen -
Werner - McCulla - Bundren [45th Reunion - SEP 2000]



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Thorsen - Michalove - Bundren - Meisenheimer -
Stern [45th Reunion - SEP 2000]



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Bundren - Meisenheimer - Michalove
[45th Reunion - SEP 2000]



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Coyle - Michalove - Stern - Meisenheimer - Werner -
Woodruff - Thorsen [45th Reunion - SEP 2000]



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Carl Cathey and Larry Michalove
[c1989]



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? - ? - Meisenheimer - ? - Michalove's
[c1985]



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Burroughs - Carrington - Riggs - Michalove
[c1985]



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Larry Michalove
[c1970's]



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Bill Graham - Murray - Spaulding - Bullard x55 - Wing - Knieriem - West - Michalove - Regnier - Tom Phillips - Viney - Klung - Pond - Smor - Perritt x55 - Thorsen (seated) [Mini Reunion @ Thorsens - MAY 1970]



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[10th Reunion - 1965]

Standing [L to R]: Weaver - Lewis - Turner - Chikalla - Gallup - O'Brien - Freed - Hadly - Wix - ? - Streett - ? - Reb Young - Quinn - Lenio - ? - Perkins - Thorsen - ? - Nieves - Sherman - Burroughs - Giza - Traut - Sloan - Gay - Paul Parks - Andrews - Ginter - Bates - McNair - ? - Lichtenberg - Nidever - Secord - Feagin - Cathey - Herren - ? - ? - Ludwig - ? - ? - ? - Ralls - ? - Shimunek - Macdonald - ? - ? - ? - ? - ? - Bob Strickland - Front [L to R]: Soper - Newton - Dax - Chance - Schmidt - Shideler - Bergen - Matteson - Hargrove - Hornbarger - Steakley - Stevens - Drummond - Rudzki - Knierem - Wargowsky - ? - Stern - ? - ? - Livesay - Dickson - Michalove - Hagan - Landers - ? - Blitch - ? - Cardillo - Ordway - Trobaugh - Crancer - Maus - LaFrenz - Sydenham - Strom - ? - Howie Stone - Schepps - Raymond - Spellman - Sanderson ? - Wray - Fikaris - Stevenson - Sims - ?

Larger Size



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D-2 Firsties - 5th Row: Wilkinson - Woodruff x55 - 4th Row: Stern - Stockett - Thorsen - Werner - 3rd Row: Russell - Meisenheimer - Michalove - Monahan - Quinn - Riggs - 2nd Row:Fontaine - Herman - Heye - Jefferies - McCormack - McCulla - 1st Row: Bundren - Chura - Coyle - Cummins - Erminger - Fetko (CO)



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RR Davis - Fikaris - Michalove - Hargrove
1st Bn Staff - 2nd Regt



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Michalove - ? - McWilliams - Roberts -
Wildermuth - Heye - Minich - Coyle [1951]



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2015 AOG Online Register
(Updated JUL 2019)

Lawrence G. Michalove Cullum No: 20391 Class of: 1955 Born: NC Appointment: Branch: AF History: 20391 Lawrence Gilbert Michalove B-NC: AF: 965AEW&CSq McClellanAFB CA 56-58: 923AC&WSq HopedaleAFS Labrador 58-59: Montgomery AD Sec 59 [CM]: MS StanfordU 63: HqAFSCmd 63-66 [CM]: 6593TestSq 66-69: Tng w/ Northrop 69-70: 16SOSq Thailand 70-71 [2DFC-9AM]: DCASD Birmingham 72-75 [JSCM]: DivCh OKALC 75-77: Ret 77 LTC [MSM]: BsnsRep Harbert Corp 77, VP Mktg 87: SrMgr Aerospace & Govt Rust Intl 90: Dir IntlBsnsDevl Bill Harbert Intl Construction Inc 95-Ret 99: Author 05

Register Glossary


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A Great Escape: Vietnam Vet’s Children’s Book Compiled
with Stories He Sent Home During Service



!n 1977, Larry Michalove, above with wife Sybil, retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel with an aeronautical rating of master navigator and settled into civilian life. Journal photo by Ingrid Schnader.

As Larry and Sybil Michalove sit together looking through a scrapbook of memories in anticipation of their 60th wedding anniversary in 2020, there are many moments to celebrate.

Some moments are bright, but it is the darker ones that seem to remain most clear.

On July 3, 1970, the Michaloves moved into a three-bedroom apartment in Homewood, welcomed by a broken air conditioner and temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. They had their four children in tow, Lisa, 9; David, 6½; Stacy, nearly 3; and Karen, 1½.

It might have been the last home they shared together, since in just days Larry was to leave for Air Force training and, inevitably, Southeast Asia.

But during those 14 months on assignment, he found time to put pen to paper.

The Michaloves later compiled the stories he wrote and created a book that his children shared with grandchildren. Published in 2005 by iUniverse, the book (available on Amazon) won the Military Writers Society of America’s 2005 Distinguished Book Award for Children’s Literature.

“I must have over 300 letters,” Sybil said. “He wrote me every day, and then once a week he would send a story” that he had written for the children.

In those stories, Larry didn’t discuss his life stationed in Thailand, the 114 combat missions he flew, the successes or the near misses. Instead, he wrote fantasies starring four little children who went on magical adventures to far-off worlds but always made it home in time for dinner.

More than 15 years later, the couple unpacked the letters from a stored box and compiled a children’s book, “The Four Little Children, A Likely Story.”

Throughout the stories there are small details that can be traced back to Larry’s experiences.

Freezing Cold and the Northern Lights

Larry, born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, never felt a strong call to arms during his childhood. His claim to fame at that time was playing on the high school basketball team. After high school, he was scouted to apply for West Point but ended up being the third alternate for acceptance.

“The first guy decided that he didn’t want to go anymore. Then the first and second alternates both flunked some portion of the test,” he said. “So, they called and asked me if I wanted to go and I said, “Sure.’”

After graduating with the class of 1955, he made his way to McClellan Air Force Base in California and spent the next few years in the service.

In 1958, Larry served at the Hopedale Air Station, in Canada north of Labrador, the closest town being the Inuit community of Hopedale. He was assigned to remove a radar at the Mid-Canada Line’s most easterly repeater radar station.

“I remember it would get to be about negative 40 degrees,” Larry said. Even at the barracks, housed in a lower elevation camp, snow would pile up nearly to the top of the buildings.

“We could see the Northern Lights,” he said. “In one of my stories, the kids see the Northern Lights, so that was inspired by my experiences up there.”

Larry and Sybil married in 1960 and moved to California, where Larry obtained a master’s in statistics at Stanford University. After graduating and having their first two children, they ended up in Hawaii for a few years, where they had two more kids.

Both of the Michaloves and their two eldest children loved their time in Hawaii, and it is mentioned on more than one occasion in the book.

During his three years there, Larry flew missions to recover capsules ejected from satellites. The capsules contained images collected by the satellites, and it was Larry’s job to navigate the crew to the drop site – somewhere in the middle of the ocean.

Once the drop site was found, Larry said, the crew would open the door at the back of the aircraft and throw out what essentially was a hook on a line at just the right moment to reel in the capsule.

He had a knack for navigation and came to enjoy it.

“Being able to navigate and find your way just by using the stars has always been something that fascinated me,” Larry said.

A series of tales in the book use his knowledge of star patterns, as the children, and their magical, elfin guide Ramor travel to the moon and beyond.



Larry (back row, center) served in the 16th Special Operations Squadron
on AC-13 gunships. Photo courtesy Larry Michalove.


Illness and the Jungle

When the Michaloves moved to Birmingham, the United States had been sending combat troops to Southeast Asia for about five years. The Vietnam War was heavily protested stateside, while hundreds of thousands of men were sent off to battle.

In the first few pages of Larry’s book, there is a family photo.

“This was the last photo we took before he went off to training,” Sybil said, “because we weren’t sure he was going to come back, so I wanted to get at least one picture.”

After completing combat training, he went home to visit his family before heading off to Air Force survival school training at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington and jungle training near Clark Air Base in the Philippines.

Leaving his family at the Birmingham airport – looking back one last time to see Sybil crying on his mother’s shoulder – is a memory that still brings tears to his eyes.

The task that welcomed him to Washington was even less pleasant. He underwent difficult training that instilled in him the thought, “Don’t get caught in the first place.”

He came out of survival school with a case of pneumonia.

“So, I had about three days to lay in bed and try to get well before I had to fly out to Thailand,” he said. “And that was when I wrote the first story.”

As he waited in the terminal for his flight to Southeast Asia, he stood with a phone in his hand, trying to say goodbye to his wife for possibly the final time while Peter, Paul and Mary’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” droned from a jukebox.

In the Philippines, Larry mailed the first story home and spent weeks running through the jungle, he said.

“There were times when we were eating rattlesnakes or whatever we could find, but it was better (than Washington) because at least it was warm,” he said.

The Four Children stories became a way to escape from the stories he didn’t want to tell. They also were a way to continue to connect with the family he thought he might not see again.

After survival school, Larry arrived at his station in Ubon, Thailand, about 50 miles from the Mekong River in Laos. There he served in the 16th Special Operations Squadron on AC-13 gunships.

“Our mission was to attack these trucks that would move down the Ho Chi Minh Trail,” he said.

In all, Larry flew on 114 combat missions as navigator and earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and nine Air Medals.

“I flew missions at night,” he said. “So, I would come back and go to sleep and then I would write a story in the afternoon once I woke up.”

The hardest moments never appeared to influence the tales, and there were times he left them out of his letters to Sybil, too.

Larry’s plane took a direct hit on March 26, 1971, over Laos and had to make an emergency landing just across the Mekong in South Vietnam.

“And that was on my birthday,” Sybil said. “He didn’t tell me about it until he was back for R&R, and after he did I went back and looked through the letters and there was no mention of any of it.”

He didn’t write about the destructive aspects of war or the memories of friends he lost along the way. Instead, he dreamt tales of dancing pumpkins and Martians, or trips underwater or among the stars. Each story served as a teachable moment for his children, relaying the importance of resolving issues from a place of kindness, without violence.

At home, Sybil said, her eyes were always glued to the nightly news and its coverage of the war. Though their eldest daughter and son were old enough to worry about their father, she said, his stories were always something to look forward to.

When Larry arrived home after 14 months away from his family, the letters were boxed up and stored.

Looking back, he describes his service as something of which he is proud, but if given the chance, he would not do it again.

“You know, it was the war that nobody cared about,” he said. “Even when I got back, it was 1971 and people couldn’t have cared less, nobody would stop and thank you for your service.”

In 1977, Larry retired from the Air Force as a lieutenant colonel with an aeronautical rating of master navigator and settled into civilian life. The Michaloves later compiled the stories he wrote and created a book that his children shared with grandchildren.

It wasn’t until his daughter-in-law shared the book with her class that Larry began to search for a publisher.

Published in 2005 by iUniverse, the book won the Military Writers Society of America’s 2005 Distinguished Book Award for Children’s Literature.

“One of the things I’ve loved most was getting to go into the schools and read to the children,” he said. Students have written him letters after his visits, thanking him for the stories, as well as his service.

By Emily Williams
Over the Mountain Journal
October 30, 2019


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Local Classmate Assistant (LCA) Information

Class Remembrance: Charity

Preferred Charity: Wounded Warrior Project

Suggested LCA: Buddy Roberts



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