Happy May 4th! No better story to share today than that of Joe Rohaley, also known as Saint Vader, as many around the world celebrate Star Wars Day. Joe’s message is an incredibly powerful one we all need to hear more often.
My connection with Vader stemmed from The Magic Hour family. It would never have happened if not for Pat Green and Laura Bellucci. While wrapping up a recent episode the Thursday of French Quarter Fest, bar chef Laura Bellucci approached me before leaving SoBou. “You have to interview Vader, I really want to know his story,” she shared with me before heading out for the day.
What Laura did not know is that I had arranged transportation that morning for Pat to attend French Quarter Fest while we shot the episode at SoBou. I had about an hour to check in on Pat and walk around the festival. This was when the magic took over. I spotted Pat posted up at the stage in Jackson Square, and she joyfully introduced me to some friends she had made while enjoying the music. One of these new friends was Eddie, and he was wearing quite possibly the coolest t-shirt I had seen in a while. I knew this was a special moment, so I asked Eddie for a picture.
I had about thirty minutes to explore the fest before returning to pick up Pat and bring her back to the Poydras Home. I walked towards the Mississippi River and Woldenberg Park to see the main stage. While walking on the bike path, I stumbled upon Saint Vader himself in all his glory, dancing like no one was watching. I couldn't believe it. I sat down on a nearby bench to enjoy the show and waited until he took a break. In that serendipitous moment, I walked up to Saint Vader to share how Laura from SoBou just suggested bringing him onto the Magic Hour. Saint Vader was all in, so we shared a selfie and phone numbers, and the rest is history.
Here is the best part. While walking back to see Pat, I glanced at the cover of the FQF booklet and there on the front was an artist’s rendition of the fest, with Eddie in his amazing t-shirt.
I smiled, as it’s impossible to make up these few connections that happened in just one hour. It turned out to be the only hour I was able to enjoy French Quarter Festival, but it was a magical hour I will never forget.
Enjoy Saint Vader, and May the Fourth be with you : )