Talk about misdirecting error messages.
It should have said I was trying to bless _with_ a 'non-classname'. When I see 'bless $reference,$name', I see it as _value_ in '$name' being written into the 'package-type' label for the object. So the 'ref' is receiving (being blessed) with the value. Error message then says that something is wrong with the 'target' of my blessing...so...
Once I new the problem was with the 'classname' and not the target, problem was quickly found as prior level called 'new' as in:
Thanks MUCH for pointing at the error message. I should have looked it up rather than expecting the wording to make sense. Now I have an idea why IBM et al, use ABEND3207. :-)