After the discovery of the trunk and my chance meeting with Mr. Maines, I knew I had to "get out of the trunk," so to speak. Not much of what I found in the documents with the reels had led me any closer to the whereabouts of Coal and Flynt Stryker...except the old Highwaymen tour book (dated 1991). It was a long shot, but I decided I would start with the individual members of that super-group and reached out to any and everyone who had been connected somehow to those iconic artists.
I met Lloyd Maines at a charity event in Austin, TX a few months after the discovery of the trunk. I had gone back to Texas to meet with lawyers about my father’s land and made a stop to spend time with some family in the state’s capital city. My cousins were avid music fans and had purchased one extra ticket to the gala, hoping to introduce me to some of the culture and music they loved. Always up for an adventure, I jumped at the opportunity to take in some Austin-ness and learn more about my kin along the way. I never dreamed of what that gala ticket would provide me access to.
My family had owned the land in Texas for years. My father was an avid hunter and, on a whim, traveled overseas to buy his own place to retire with endless acres to fine tune his hobby. I never once stepped foot on the property until the day I met with the appraiser. I didn’t have much interest in hunting when I was young, and had regarded my father’s trips to Texas as wanton escapes from our family’s otherwise hum-drum lifestyle. But when I arrived at the gate, I was taken aback by the simple beauty of the landscape. Although it was the heat of the day and I had donned the most inappropriate footwear for the terrain, I felt connected and almost comforted by the vastness of it all.