I finally was able to load OS X on to my Mini 9. Many thanks to this forum and especially to Mechdrew for his instructions. The web is a great place because of people like Mechdrew.
For those who are about to hack their mini 9, here are my words of advice (I am a complete novice so your mileage may vary) based on my own experience over the last 12 hours:
1. I couldn't get bootloader to work until I downloaded it to a different Intel Mac than the one I used to partition the USB drive. I used my unibody Macbook running 10.5.7. Then I plugged in my partitioned USB drive to my MB and ran the Bootloader. Worked great. Not sure if this is a real phenomenon or just a ghost in the machine, but I couldn't get bootloader to run without the "error 1" until I used a different computer
2. Follow Mechdrew's guide to the letter after that and things should work fine. You may need to reboot periodically if the computer hangs up (I just pushed the power buttton until the Mini turned off and then pushed the power button again).
3. To get the trackpad working, you'll need Melkort's trackpad kext AND follow his installation instructions (just doing the former didn't work for me). Both can be found on this forum.
Hope that helps someone like me who knows nothing about computers except that he likes them to work.
THanks again to the Forum and to Mechdrew and Melkort for their hard work!