'I don't have faith in my ability to repopulate. Already removed the digital clock and can't figure out how to get it back. ?"
Q. "Will it just repopulate when I reboot"
A. No it won't.
Have faith, you can do it. Once you create a new panel (probably on the bottom of the screen), left click on the "cashew" at the far right and then click on "Add Widgets". Once the widgets selection shows up you will need scroll through and add the basic elements to make the panel useful. Such as: Application Launcher; System tray; Digital clock; Lock/logout; and smooth tasks. Just double click on each widget and it will be added to the panel. Some things are already there with the default panel, just add what you need. Once added, you can move them from left to right by left clicking and dragging to where you want, slowly and carefully. Once you understand what the panel is, and what it can do, you may have a love/hate relationship with it.