Vern and Barbara Gildea spend their time on their family ranch located near Merna under the shadows of the north side of the Merna Butte. Vern irrigates his meadows with the water that flows down Horse Creek and Lead Creek. The ranch has been in the family since 1904 when Barbara's grandfather, Patrick Conwell, bought the Osborn Redick homestead and expanded the acreage with homesteading and desert entry filing. Barbara's father, Ralph, took over the operation in 1924. Vern and Barbara have been running the ranch since Ralph's death. They sell summer pasture and do not own any livestock at this time.
The original brand is the Triangle Bar Slash located on the right shoulder of cattle. Ralph modified it to Open Triangle Bar Slash which is located on the left hip of cattle. Barbara said that Ralph did this because the triangle blotched. About the time television or TV came out Ralph thought that the T V brand would be neat and easy to remember so he applied and got it. This brand is located on the left shoulder of cattle.
Although the Gildeas own all three of these brands, at this time they are all inactive. When asked why they kept the brands both Vern and Barbara said that they never knew when they might need it use them again. That and the sentimental value is why they keep them.