Ya know, I think I'll never figure out these forum search tools. I searched for "ftp AND .netrc" and got everything including threads that happened to mention ftp somewhere but never said anything about .netrc. So I decided it was necessary to to post the question myself. And then it comes back and tells me about this post http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi....netrc-506377/
and what-a-ya-know, there's the answer. Why didn't the man page say anything about the owner having exclusive rights to read the .netrc file?
As the owner of the file, in the owner's home directory, execute "chmod 600 .netrc"
Thank God for forums 'cause those man pages are about worthless.
P.S. OK, now I understand the connection between
Error - .netrc file not correct mode.
It's 'cause I'm a Newbie dontchya know.