I figured it out. Okay, I'm a girl, so you can bet I did something wrong! And, I did.
I did NOT explode the contents of the .ISO image when I wrote it to the USB stick, just copied the image. Wrong! Once I opened the .ISO image and copied the contents all worked as advertised! Note: this has to be done on a Mac, Windows will not let you see the contents of the .ISO image. I then had to re-do the OSX DVD image on the big partition of the USB stick, because it was buried in a subdirectory and the boot routine couldn't find it. I'm waiting for the DVD to finish imaging now. If I did that right, I should have a OS X Mini 9 by tonight.