Well, it didn't take me long to screw something up. I had installed Ubuntu Tweak and was trying to increase the size of my desktop fonts when the size increaser got stuck and kept continuously increasing the size of the font. My taskbar crashed and froze, so I killed the process. When the window closed, my taskbar was gone. I'm trying to figure out how I'm even going to shut this thing down except for a hard shutdown. Hope i don't make matters worse. I check for responses tomorrow - thanks.
There are many ways to correct your problem without a hard shutdown. The solution to getting the panel back is to put lxpanelctl restart into the terminal. How do you bring up the terminal without a panel? Use the keyboard. I always program windows (key)+t for terminal because that is in my memory bank. However, you do not need to do that because Ctrl+Esc=menu and Win+e=pcmanfm should already be in your system. Pcmanfm has the nice applications menu on the left side, which includes the terminal, and you should also make sure it includes shutdown for just these kinds of emergencies. Most of this information is in http://douwil7.100webspace.net/linux/Tuning.html. See, in particular, Sections 3 and 19.
Also, you can just right click an empty spot on your desktop to bring up the Openbox menu, which includes pcmanfm, terminal and any other applications (shutdown!) that you choose to put there. It is all explained in Section 3 in the above link.