If I select a photo in the Library view and it is in my main work area central screen, as soon as I go to "Develop" the picture disappears from the central screen, I just see a blue screen and the picture is only visible in the small "Navigation" pane. Even if I go to "Before and After", I only see the before in the central work space and the blue screen for the "after" part.
I am sure it is a simple button push I am missing but I can't find it
Try disabling the GPU. Go to Edit > Preferences > Performance (Lightroom > Preferences > Performance on a Mac), and uncheck Use Graphics Processor.
That did it! Thanks! I figured it was a straightforward thing, but boy is that buried