To finally respond to myself:
what you need to do is run setterm -blank 0 in order to keep the console from blanking and xset s 0 to keep X from blanking.
How I did it, is in the user I wanted this to happen, I also wanted to boot into X right away. My user was root so in the /root dir, I put a .bash_profile which did a setterm -blank 0 and then a /root/startx
I had previously done a cp /usr/X11R6/bin/startx /root/startx
and then added right before the blackbox line (in the xclients section) a xset s 0 &