Thank you guys for all the assistance. I have NO idea what step created those huge .cfg files. I'll have to keep an eye out for that.
You used 'Save Configuration' in RetroArch's RGUI. Either that or you enabled 'Save Configuration on Exit' from the RGUI.
That is ABSOLUTELY it. I've been trying to figure out (without luck) through trial and ERROR, how to get to where I can cut off the initial post period of some of the roms (like Defender) and auto-load the "clean" state as I used to do on my PC version of MAME.
I did see that set. It's on my list of things to get.
I see in my future getting a merged set of ROMs to save download time and creating my own non-merged set afterwards.
Do you think my 9 year old PC might be powerful enough to run most games on the latest MAME? I know it is leaps and bounds ahead of the Pi, but I don't know how PC processing power compares to arcade hardware.