OK... I screwed up. I put the jumper on 0 & 1 on the analog pins (duhh...) When I placed the jumper on the TX & RX pins and open the serial monitor it relays the sent message back to the monitor. Is that a good sign?--
Final update. Lefty was right on target. Got my new chip from sparkfun, plugged it in and my board is back in business... Thanks again Lefty :-)
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