Okay, it's now about 5 hours later, and I think I have a good html file. Calibre has created an epub that looks good on the built-in viewer with a table of contents that works. With a title page, even.
It's now obvious to me that Word is not the best choice for editing html.
Word for Mac was putting that code above in the file whenever an italicized word opened a paragraph. I switched to my wife's Windows desktop machine but the "script editor" wasn't installed and wouldn't install, so I took the file over to my netbook.
The script editor installed and I went to work. The problem with the italics disappeared by itself, but two others popped up:
Every time "Main Street" appeared, it appeared in italics on a line by itself, with the rest of the paragraph in single-spaced lines beneath, thanks to some special "street" code Word had installed.
"Cooves County Hospital" became, uniformly, "CoovesCountyHospital" because of some "place" code that I never asked for.
I found the offending code and removed it from every incidence. But I noticed that every proper name now has a "place" code around it. However, that doesn't seem to affect the ebook.
I got the extraneous code to stop appearing by turning off every automatic Word function I could find. The file is still loaded with all kinds of code that'll probably mess something up but I can't possibly go through every paragraph and delete it.
Thanks for the offer of the epub! My publisher needs a "source" file, though, because he'll have some stuff to add...samples of other books, and in exchange I'll get samples in the ebooks of other authors. And as you mentioned, I've done quite a bit of rewriting from that PDF edition.
What's your 10-minute process?