The fact that there are no SoftwareSerial examples directory in the Arduino distribution is a pretty good clue that the Arduino developers don't want to actively encourage new programmers to use it.
Well, I am too dumb to take the hint.
I don't see much value in hints on stuff this fundamental.
IMHO, if it is in the core Arduino IDE, it should have a simple example, so that a beginner can see how to use it, and test it with some confidence.
If the team want to obsolete it, okay. They should write something to that effect on the reference library page, and in the example (and library code).
That way, everyone is clear, and understands what is happening.
SoftwareSerial is a nice example of bit-banging comms. It is about a page (old-fashioned piano-ruled, 66-line listing paper:-) of mostly very understandable code.
IMHO, it is significantly easier to understand than an interrupt driven alternative. Unfortunately NewSoftSerial is made more complex-looking for a beginner by a compiler bug, and direct pin I/O. Though that complexity is also a valuable lesson for anyone trying to learn about this type of stuff.
IMHO, if it is ever retired from 'active duty' in the Arduino IDE download, SoftwareSerial should be put somewhere easy to find because of its educational value.
davekw7x - Thanks for you help.