You know those rare places that are full of undiscovered bargains? I found a great one. I stumbled into a "Cash Converters" on New Years' Eve - just to have a look around. Darned if I didn't come out of there with a vintage Peavey amp for less than the price of a used jacket. They had a wall of guitars and amps to pick from - but the prices are all over the map. They really can't distinguish between the good stuff and junk. But if you know what to look for, you can land a lunker.
Saturday - in the midst of running errands, we stopped in at the same Cash Converters. (I've been looking for a Yamaha acoustic for years and it suddenly became my focus.) Sure enough, there were at least 6 Yamaha acoustics up on the display wall. I grabbed the closest one and sat down.
Some time later, I looked at a second...and a third. I kept coming back to the first one I played. Something about this guitar was calling me - aside from the staggeringly low price. It wasn't the flashiest, it wasn't the cheapest, but it was solid, the neck was straight and it played and sounded great. I couldn't put an age on it, but it looked like it had been neglected for a long time. The store owner told me it had just come in. I knew that the very next person who played this guitar would buy it if I didn't so...I was sold. I wasn't even going to grind him down on the $129.00 price - beyond a new set of strings. I took it to the cash, told him I'd take it, and he disappeared into the back. A few minutes later, he emerged with a high-end gigbag. (Smart up-selling, I'm thinking. I'll buy a bag from him so I can get it home safely.) "Comes with it," he announced. (It's easily a $50 bag.) I almost felt bad asking him to throw in a set of strings. Almost.
After getting my guitar home, I did some research. It's a Yamaha FG-160-1 acoustic guitar. Decoding the serial number, I discovered that this is a special guitar. It's a higher-end model of their flagship FG series. But here's where it gets all Twilight Zone-y. Also in the serial number is the actual date this guitar was built: 1977-01-28. What was the date I found this guitar?: 2012-01-28.