Update: Drove out to St Louis with a Transfer Switch in hand after a local repair place kept dragging there feet. Patty was sweltering in the 90 plus heat and humidity.
I installed a Parallax T/S that had a bus bar for all the connections, throwing out the old Todd T/S that had at least 9 wire nuts inside
It was a clean install and everything fired up after I was done. Best of all no sparks
. (EM I made sure I didn't have any stray strands
Thank you everyone for your help.
. Now I am enjoying time with grandbaby Eli