EMRTC Affiliates
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There were sim

ply too many chores that needed constant or immediate attention: salt licks and feed to be put out, broken machinery to be repaired, cattle to be moved to new pastures, a calf with a broken leg that needed to be tended to-the 1st was e


. It wasn't all tha's state-of-the-art MicroElectronics Testing and Technology Obsolescence Program (METTOP) is to test, evaluate and assess the many types of microelectronic components that make up so many of today's sophisticated military, space and commercial systems.

t unusual for a rancher to send the fa


off to church services, if he could spare them, and stay behind to get the work done. He decided to drive to the new corral to see if Shaw had his day hands working. He arrived to find Joe Jordan supervising the men, who were nailing alvaruzed wire mesh fencing to the corral. Kerney was familiar with the product; he'd used it for his paddock at the Santa Fe ranch. It kept horse

s from damaging legs or hooves on t

he po

sts and cross poles and absorbed the animals' impact without cutting their coats or causing abrasions. Shaw was nowhere to be seen, nor was his panel van. However, Bessie sat in Joe's pickup truck, reading a book. She saw Kerney, smiled, and motioned him over. "Will you go and tell that husband of mine to stop working and take me to Las Cruces like he promised?" she asked. "Where's Walt Shaw?" Kerney asked. Bessie closed the book and put it on the dashboard. "I suspect he's in Virde

n. He tries to get up there once a mo


to check on his property. Normally, Julia fills in for him when he's gone, but she's on her way to Tucson to attend a bull sale tomorrow morning. But these boys have worked for us before and they certainly don't need any supervision." Kerney tipped his hat. "I'll see wh

at I can do, ma'am." Bessie touch

ed his

arm before he could walk away. "Back when you and Johnny were young, I'd hoped he would go to college with you and Dale Jennings." "I guess it wasn't what he wanted." "What he needed was to be with friends who were steady and reliable and not so easily swayed by his shenanigans." Kerney smiled. "That's kind of you to say, but I don't think anyone could have held Johnny back when he was feeling

his oats." "You're probably right,"

Bessie said, patting Kerney's hand. "Go tell Joe Jordan if h