All I can say is... Wow.
Thanks, Golddiggie, Halbrust, and jwitt! Great advice and viewpoints from all. I didn't actually expect to get so many replies.
Here is what I am going to do:
1. I will save Papazian for beer-making!
2. I will put this first attempt at mead aside and hope for the best. BTW I do have a cellar- seems that most houses in Denver do. It isn't pretty, but I have storage space and it is cool-ish (low 70's now, probably low 60's/ high 50's in the winter) and dark down there.
3. After reading everyone's comments, I really want to try a second batch now- using all of the same ingredients but not boiling anything, saving the cherries for the secondary after fermentation is complete, and waiting 6, 9, to 12 months before bottling.
If people are interested, I'll let you know if the weird smell in the first batch ever dissipates.
Many thanks again-