Ok, I'm replying to my own post LOL I found the answer to my question in another post. I had searched before, but just not read to the bottom of the page. Anyone else with this problem, here's what worked for me (a newbie to AI): Apply a stroke to any open path then use the Outline Path command to turn the open path into a closed path that looks like a stroked open path.
I had tried that unsuccessfully before re: the tutorial, but for some reason it worked this time. Still open to other feedback or replies. Thanks again, Donovan