Good evening, Randal --
That's quite a few miles on the 911 -- congratulations!
On the modulator, many times individuals will try to "nurse" their transmission along by increasing modulating pressure but you went straight to the endpoint by completely disconnecting it.
How long is the delay before engagement b/t Park to Reverse and Drive to Reverse?
The reason that your flaring is gone is that you are signalling to the tranny each time that you are under full load and you want the firmest shift possible.
*Assuming* that the vacuum modulator was adjusted properly prior to disconnecting it and assuming that you were getting proper vacuum to it (both of which would lead me to believe that the flare that you experienced was due to worn K1 and K2 clutch frictions) , I don't believe that you are going to hurt your transmission anymore than it is hurt already.