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Thanks for everyone's help.  I was trying to figure this all out by just looking through the 
lau.h file and I was looking for some kind of c function pointer declaration being passed 
around (D'oh!).
Well ok since "gettagmethod(tag(obj), "gc")" appears to be deprecated, how am I supposed to stimulate explicit 
garbage collection?  I.e., basically I need a kind of "free".  Obviously there is a kind of chicken and egg thing with trying 
to pass a object to be "freed" in a garbage collecting language like Lua, so the next best thing is to just lose the reference 
then explicitly garbage collect a particular tag (I don't really want to garbage collect the whole system).  However 
looking through lgc.c there does not seem to be a way to do that.
Without something like this my choices are 1) explicitely garbage collect the whole system or 2) write my own explicit 
free which frees all the extraneous stuff in the userdata except for the containing base memory which would be cleaned 
up at garbage collection time.  Is this correct?

Paul Hsieh