Solution to problem
Good advice. I have a Dell computer, when BIOS boots there are two function keys, Setup & Boot Menu. I pressed Boot Menu function key and could boot from floppy, cdrom, or hd. I used the RedHat installation cd #1 and booted to cdrom. The installation page had a list of function keys at bottom of page, one of which was Rescue. I pressed Rescue and got a mini-linux loaded into memory and to top it off I was prompted with an option to mount the system hd partition to /mnt/sysimage ( NICE ). Then I had access to my corrupted system directory and text command capability to fix the problem.
If you read this story, a word to the wise...do NOT use the bad habit of renameing files to preserve them for a change or upgrade. The system directory now-a-days uses a lot of links which can make for some confussion and the rename approach dangerous. Backup those files to a temp directory or cdrom.