Mike, thank you, I think I read a lot on densitometry from what is available on the web - what I lack is experience in doing the exercise myself, and maybe some of what I read is not so accurate.
Ralph, this illustration is familiar, I saw it in your other post; but probably glossed over it. It makes sense not to use gamma for the papers. It may be I have a wrong routine of film development. I develop to certain gamma value and thought if I would know the paper gamma it will speed up my paper selection in the darkroom. However in the course of experimentation I found a lot of fun to sort of reverse engineer the thinking behind emulsion making. I hope it will improve my understanding of how to shoot as shots end up printed and it seems that to select shooting parameters knowing how the scene will print provides better ROI.
Ron, it is your combined film-paper-print graph that clicked on me. Because of it I exposed the paper so as to have #11 and 1D. Interestingly, the gamma I measured from the print is closer to 2.2 than to 2.5 you put on the graph. I measured the step tablet before making contacts from it and the densitometer readings confirmed the tablet is accurate.
Thank you all, gentlemen. I really appreciate your explanations.