Finally got a good brake job through the trusted mechanic. They stop sooo much better. I can’t believe the first mechanic couldn’t do it right after two tries - the difference now is amazing.
The trusted mechanic gave me the old pads. They don’t have the bendix brand anywhere on them. Anyone recognize these letters on them? API FE MET My husband was surprised at how rough they are too.
The first mechanic also did an awful job turning the rotors (thanks Texases, for the tip) on the rear such that the pads were only hitting the surface 50% of the time. So the trusted mechanic resurfaced those for me, and gave me a picture of the rotors with the uniform chatter marks on them from the poor resurfacing from the first mechanic.
so - after about $1,000 and almost a month - safe brakes. thanks again for all the help and suggestions here -