Oh, I have several minor modifications in my child theme, such as a check for is_front_page in a couple of places, changing the width of the sidebars by changing the spanN to what I wanted. So, I will start backing out the files I have in my child theme one by one to see if I can track down the change that is causing the right sidebar to appear on the left side.
Very strange that WordPress ignores the page template setting in the editor. Thanks for letting me know. I won’t spend any more time beating my head against the wall for that one. Ugh. Where is that little tidbit of information located in the Codex? Seems like a bizarre “feature” to me. I’d like to read about it.
But, I really really really want a different page template for my blog page. Can you give me a hint on what code I should be looking at to do what you did in your Celestial theme? I don’t need to add any options to the customizer to make the page layout optional, I just need to force it to use a different layout.
Also, how do you debug your themes? What tool do you use? Often times I would like to find out what .php file generated when I am seeing on the screen. Is there a debugger available to help with this sort of thing?