My wireless has been working well for several hours now. It connected three times through wicd after three reboots, the last being some 6 hours ago, with no problem, so I am happy.
My chipset is the Atheros AR5212/AR5213. I think (hope) my problem was my router, which to date has been very good. I figured that out when I was able, in wifi-radar, to get on my neighbor's unencrypted wireless. (I use wep) So I unplugged the router, waited 5 minutes, plugged it back in, and everything, including wicd, seems to work properly. .
As to Svgt's original post, when I am on a wired connection, wicd has ALWAYS automatically connected on reboot.
I will not post again about wicd for at least a couple of weeks. By then, I should be pretty familiar with it and less likely to unintentionally muddy the waters.