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Watermelon-King-Balmorhea-Luke-Brown-portrait-boxes-2“Did you get that belt going?” Luke Brown asks over the purr of his truck’s engine. He’s looking out the window of his mobile office, a white Chevy Silverado, which is parked on a dusty dirt road in the middle of 240 acres of watermelon vines.The farm’s harvest contractor, Kurt Denney, replies from the truck idling beside Brown’s. “It’s that plastic—it’s all balled up on ’round the rolls and then the little pulleys on the motor.”A minuscule black belt, part of the machinery on one of the harvest trailers, has been malfunctioning. The men decide that not much can be done until Brown’s wife, Kendall, arrives from Fort Stockton with a replacement. She made the fifty-minute drive earlier that morning. “She said she got four…

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