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...and...answering my own question.
I really was tired. I had forgotten to choose RGB + Alpha...
Thanks for circling back dru_ nexus7
Okay- now I'm having a brain fart- I see where I can choose to see the alpha (in the comp preview window), but I need to render with an alpha channel, so that I can duplicate it, offset the frames, re render it (with multiple layers repeated, frames offset), so that it will be a seamless cycle.
Ok- now I found it again- NM- but thank you anyway...