I finally got it up and running thanks to everyone who already had the same issue as me and posted their solution.
After cleaning and reassembling the 288, I wanted to test it before I put the mantles back on. I could not get a flame to shoot out and stay lit for the life of me. It was pushing the flame all the way down past the heat shield. I thought maybe the generator had some blockage so I cleaned it up again. Put just the generator on and watched it spurt a line of fluid up and out, alternating with a misty cloud. According to other threads, that was normal. Then I read, that with the 288, you need the mantles on and only give it about 10 pumps. BINGO! Got me a Friday Night Lite Up!