T6, Fair enough, I will be more patient next time.
aherkey, yes, the vi session started but the display wasn't working right and there was no keyboard control of any kind.
Now, here is the crazy but good news.
I was running through some tests with the guys from my local LUG and I stumbled into a very easy fix.
I was trying it from Konsole and got the same behavior as before, but I switched to another tab in konsole to do something local and then switched back and the contents of the file were on the screen and I could edit the file save it and exit vi cleanly. I tried this several times and it works every time. Very weird!
You guys are okay, sorry I got testy with you.