Hey Medyman, thanks for this. With the generosity of strangers such as yourself I have learnt a great deal about AS code in the last week or so. Finally I am getting to understand the principles of it - until now it made about as much sense to me as a Chinese dictionary!

Anyway, I made the changes you suggested above (even though you recommended not to) and on the whole it works fine, but there seem to be a few minor glitches:
The first page appears automatically as desired as soon as the site opens, but it remains on the stage even when other pages are loaded through their menu buttons unless I click the "home" (first page button) before any of the others. The second problem concerns some weird behavior in the functionality of two pages that have instances of the SlideshowPro component on them. Basically if I go to those pages ("gallery" and "video") first the buttons of the component work fine, but if I then go to a SlideshowPro component-free page and back to the gallery or video page (or if I go to another page before I click on them) the functions of the component stop working. I gotta tell you, it has me stumped. Any thoughts?

You mentioned that you might try and put together a more robust version of your transitioning code, and if you do, it may be that those problems will go away, and who knows, in the meantime I may discover I am able to solve the problem for myself (although I'm not too confident of that right now!)

I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Thanks for the help so far.