Thanks to all who replied. I finally got it to work.

The missing piece of information in everything that I had been trying 
is that, unlike any other GUI-based program I have ever used, it 
seems that there are Gimp functions that one cannot find by wandering 
through the menus! The trick was to discover that I had to do an alt-
click to be able to edit the layer mask, which I eventually 
discoevered in the Gimp manual, when I did a PDF search on "layer 
mask". I could find no menu item that allowed me to do this, just the 
alt-click trick.

Thanks for everyone's help.

  Doc Evans

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