Thanks for the reply, but it didnt work. Both pieces were still one mesh. After extracting, if I clicked on one piece, the other would be highlighted as well. I had to "detatch" the pieces then use the extract tool to finally get two seperate mesh objects. ( I found a post from way back that someone had suggested this to get the results I was looking for... two seperate meshes from one piece.) Oddly enough, I needed to seperate the head as well from the torso, ( I wasnt supposed to join them yet at this stage in the book..but I did..) and the same procedure, just selecting the faces that make up the head and then keep faces together, with seperate faces checked, worked perfectly. Got two seperate meshes right off. Dont know why the body didnt work that easily, I'm guessing there was somehing in the past history that may have something to do with the problem.
Without detaching the pieces, and doing it as decribed in the original post
Yes, I could move each seperately, but they were still the same mesh.
No, this isnt a game model, just a model from a book to learn Maya's tools.. and no, not UV'ing it right now.
Thanks so much for the reply, I appreciate it!!