Well, so far nothing anyone has suggested has made any difference. I went into semantics and changed the page I desire to have the ebook start at to text and that didn't help. I also changed it to preface. Again, this made no difference. Even when I add a null h1 tag so that the page shows up first in the ncx, it still doesn't start on that page.
The strange thing is that nothing I'm trying seems to work even though I used to do absolutely nothing. My ebooks would automatically open to the first page after my cover page, no special semantics required at all.
I'm wondering if something changed in a recent Calibre update and something is happening in the conversion process. I've posted in that forum as well but no one has responded there.
I'll keep trying and will post if I have any luck. If anyone has any more ideas, please let me know.