I was dreaming about a D-18, but didn’t think I could afford one. While in Dusty Strings down the hill from my apartment in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood, I spotted a November ’95-made Froggy jumbo on special sale. It had been stranded briefly (in Chicago, they said) and frozen inadvertently while being shipped and so the finish had “crazing” in it, which they assured me would not affect the sound. It was way, way out of my perceived price range, but I was curious and strummed it. I was instantly mesmerized by its strong, rich, extremely clear voice and after a day and a night of sweaty indecision, rushed back to the store in a panic lest someone else had snagged the instrument. It’s been my go-to instrument as I migrated to NYC, Berlin, South Wales, and now Germany. I’ve never regretted the purchase and treasure the lesson I learned: Sometimes you need to invest in the best.