Thanks for all your suggestions. I got the SSMS Express edition from the link you provided, uninstalled what I had, and installed the Express one. No luck. Same error, same place. I'm thinking it's got to be something behind SSMS, that SSMS is depending on. Just don't know what.
I did initially download and install SSMS 2016, because I thought that the newer versions could access older instances (which you verified that it can). But I got the same error as with 2012 so I uninstalled SSMS 2016 and installed 2012, since I thought maybe I was wrong and the versions needed to match.
I do have SSMS 2008 R2 installed - more than 1 SSMS can run side by side, correct? I did see some stuff in forums that said that it could.