Learning to ‘Let It Be’

At the risk of committing an act of musical sacrilege, I must make a confession: I’ve never been a Beatles fan and always thought they were the most overrated band in the history of music. There, I said it. Feel free to ridicule my minority opinion. 😉

Given my distaste for all things Beatles, it came as a shock a one afternoon a few weeks ago when I had Pandora set to a 70s station while I went about the business of organizing my closet and throwing away old stuff, that when Let It Be Started playing my ears immediately perked up. I went from being vaguely aware that there was “white noise” in the background to actively listening.


Not only that but once my ears honed in on the song I immediately sensed it was a sign of some sort, although I couldn’t quite figure it out in the moment exactly what that could be. Things were moving along nicely personally and professionally; in fact, recent developments had led me to believe that a situation that had been stuck was finally moving forward. Sound dramatic? Let me reiterate that I have always hated Beatles music. So for me to abruptly stop was I was doing and attentively listen to the lyrics and the melody, and even (gasp!) sing along definitely signified that there was a message in this song I really needed to hear.

On another level, it also brought back fond memories of singing this in Catholic church in honor of Mary, which got me thinking about her and the possibility that maybe she was using this song to communicate something important.

Fast-forward a week or two and I now have confirmation. Seems that the situation I thought was finally moving forward (based on some concrete events) is still mired in the past, though not on my end. It’s at once heart-breaking, devastating, anger-inducing, stupid and nonsensical. It’s also totally out of my control, save for the way I choose to conduct myself in the aftermath. Throughout this unfolding drama, I managed to find the strength to (mostly) conduct myself with dignity while also standing up for my honor. And my words were genuinely heard and understood, although they did not change the outcome.

“The truth will set you free. But first it will make you miserable.”    — attributed to James A. Garfield


I’ve been so abruptly reminded of this timeless wisdom over the past several days. But in the wake of being blindsided by an emotional tornado, I also remembered that recent afternoon when Let It Be started streaming and I was all at once mesmerized. It was a foreshadowing of what was about to transpire and guidance for how to cope. Sometimes the best thing you can do after you’ve done all you can (and in this case, I wasn’t actually part of the decision that led to the upset), is to simply let God sort it all out. Once I was informed of the cold, hard facts in no uncertain terms, I responded in such a way as to retain my dignity. Now I am simply letting go. Or as the Beatles once sang, I am Letting It Be.


Ulysses S. Grant

(April 27, 1822 – July 23, 1885)

“Although a soldier by profession, I have never felt any sort of fondness for war, and I have never advocated it, except as a means of peace”.

Hiram Ulysses Grant was a long-time soldier and 18th President of the United States. He graduated from West Point in 1843 and fought in the Mexican American War alongside General Zachary Taylor. Although Grant retired from the Army in 1854, he was drawn back in when the Civil War erupted. After the Battle of Fort Donelson in 1862, his nickname was “Unconditional Surrender Grant”, as he was an aggressive and straightforward general. After the Battle of Shiloh, where the combined casualties numbered over 23,000, Lincoln said, “I cannot spare this man. He fights.” Once the Civil War ended, Grant remained in charge during the Reconstruction era. He was elevated to Secretary of War until nominated by the Republicans for President in 1868. When he assumed the presidency, he had never held public office, and, at the age of 46, was the youngest person at the time to have served as President.

He helped implement the Congressional plans of Reconstruction in the South and was instrumental in holding new elections with black voters there, which gave the Republicans control over the region. He established a limited number of troops in the Southern states, to protect the Freedmen and quell the antics of the Ku Klux Klan. His presidency was marked by several very forward thinking pieces of legislation that protected the civil rights of the newly freed slaves in addition to aiding American Indians. He signed several bills which promoted voting rights for peoples of all colors. He was harsh with Ku Klux Klan leaders and he won passage of the fifteenth amendment, which gave freedmen the right to vote.  In 1874, an insurgence of paramilitary groups arose in the deep South. Their objectives were to disrupt elections, suppress the black vote, and turn Republicans out of office.  In part because of these groups, Grant was the first president to sign a Civil Rights Act in 1875.

Grant’s poor judgement of character and his willingness to allow nepotism within his administration led to twelve scandals in the eight years of his term. His personal secretary, Orville Babcock, wielded a tremendous amount of power, as he controlled who saw the President. He was tried for various crimes and misdemeanors in 1876, while Grant stood by him. In 1879, he was nominated for a third term as president, but lost the nomination to James Garfield, for whom he campaigned. It was at this point that Grant decided to take a two-year world tour. He returned successful but financially challenged, and around that time it was also discovered that he had throat cancer. While terminally ill, Grant spent his time writing his memoirs. He finished them only days before his death on July 23, 1885. While not financially prosperous in life, his memoirs earned his family $450,000.

— Joan Schaefer Poach


About the Author: Religious, spiritual and liberty-loving Joan Schaefer-Poach has been a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Department of Connecticut since she was three weeks old. Both her mother and her grandmother were Past Department Presidents of the organization for the state of Connecticut, and, in 1997, Joan followed in their footsteps. This made history within the organization, as Connecticut and Massachusetts are the only two states in the country who have had three generations of members serve as Department President.

Joan currently works as a Technical Support Group supervisor for Cablevision in Shelton CT, in a 500- person-plus facility with a group that consists primarily of entry-level individuals fresh out of college. As a result, she experiences first-hand the entitlement attitude that is taught in the public school system and fights diligently to eliminate it in the workplace.

Fed up with the “hate America first” attitude that has taken over the schools from kindergarten all the way through college, Joan believes that the only way to fix this country is by exposing youngsters to our history in a way that brings it to vibrant life — as opposed to the dull recitation of dates and facts. There’s an old saying that states, “what’s past is prologue”, and if we want this country to once again be free of the onerous links to socialism and fascism, our children need our guidance. Joan fervently hopes to assist with this effort.

Editor’s Note: Joan is dedicating all of her contributions to the memory of Andrew Breitbart. RIP.