reset FW bus, same goes for USB reset...
Reset the Firewire bus
If your Firewire or USB isn't recognizing any device. A solution which has worked for some whose hard drive became invisible in 10.4 was simply to follow these four steps to reset the Firewire/USB bus:
1. Shut the machine down.
2. UNPLUG the power lead to the computer and any firewire/USB drive.
3. leave it for 10 minutes.
4. Connect back up and reboot.
USB and FireWire Quick Assist
Common fixes for USB device issues (unrecognized, etc.)
I looked in the Apply menu for the computer and YES the USB hub on the monitor was listed. So I took a chance and plugged in a flash drive and it showed up on the desktop. I didn't do anything except keep the machine off for a few days. Now of course I'm worried that this is a sign of things to come...
Thank you all for your assistance. It's greatly appreciated.