On Tour With the Godfather of Wheat

[imgbelt img=Al-Rueb.jpg]Taking a tour of far Western Kansas with the Godfather of Wheat.


Joe Wicks

Cheyene County, Kansas, is in the northwest corner of Kansas, on the Nebraska line. It is home to the Godfather of Wheat.

I’m sitting in the back seat of my FJ Cruiser, seeing for the third time today the wheat fields between Goodland and St. Francis, Kansas. We’re in Cheyenne County, the extreme northwest corner of the state. My husband Ron is behind the wheel. Directing our route is my girlhood friend’s father, Al Rueb. That’s pronounced Reeb, which rhymes with wheat, but with a “b.” Al is a retired dentist from Kansas City who grew up on a farm outside of St. Francis.

 Closing in on our 19th mile of the same 30-mile stretch of road with nary a bathroom break, I’ve taken to referring to him as the Godfather of Wheat.

We’re being followed in a second vehicle driven by Al’s “lady friend” Charlotte, my friend Suzy, and her brother Steve, also a dentist from Kansas City. Steve and Suzy didn’t grow up in St. Francis but have made this summer wheat tour with their dad since they were young.

Up Highway 27 to see this quarter section. Over onto a county road to see that quarter section. A quick scamper across Highway 24 over into eastern Colorado to see another quarter section. Al has made enough money from the wheat harvest over the years that he’s been able to buy a little farmland for his two kids. Now the kids have made enough money selling their wheat that they can help their own kids with college.