So...my second attempt, armed with all the wonderful suggestions. Have to admit that I ruined my 1st crust.
It was too wet and stuck all over my granite counter. On to crust #2... I did not blind bake this time (that would be 3rd try if needed) but used a pizza stone in lower part of oven. I used times/temps from Andy, though actually pulled the pie after @ 40 minutes since it was firming but still jiggling. Knife came out almost clean. It browned a bit more than I'd like on the crust, but crust was thin, flaky and tender this time. Filling was wonderful and since I let it cool in the oven (turned off and cracked open) it didn't crack at all!
As beautiful as it gets for 4th pie ever, and yummy as well. I do need to work out a technique for pinching the dough... I have fingernails that tear through when trying the way I was shown by my mother-in-law. If anyone has any suggestions I'd love to hear. It could really use some help!
Thanks everyone for all the input! I learned so much & it all helped! Final Q to those who bake: does anyone use convection for baking? I thought it was supposed to help. My oven has several convection bake settings. And if I use a convection setting, does it still matter if the pie is baked on lower part of oven? Thanks again & all the Best!