On January 8, 2010, Paul L. Vasquez uploaded a recording showing a double rainbow in front of his home in a mountainous area of Mariposa County, inland California. The three minutes and twenty-nine seconds of that video launched him to fame, often ephemeral, on social networks. In your case, very durable. More than the physical phenomenon (which is not extraordinary), his video caught the attention by the comments of its author, who came to tears wondering how it was possible for such a wonder to be done. Its broadcast has exceeded in this time the 48 million visits on YouTube. Vasquez died last Saturday, at age 57, of causes that have not been made public, according to CNN.
In January 2010, the man, nicknamed Yosemite Bear on social media and simply Bear by his friends, shot a short video from his mountain home. From the first moment he made it clear that the recording did not do justice to the brilliance and color of the double rainbow in front of him, and gave free rein to his emotion at the phenomenon. “There is a rainbow crossing from end to end [el cielo]! “,” How brilliant it is! “,” What does this mean? “, He admired himself excitedly. At various moments, he could not pronounce words beyond several” Wow! “And” OMG! “.
The diffusion of the video consecrated him as “the man with the double rainbow”, a nickname that he was proud to highlight and that earned him fame. The televisions called him for their talkshows. He starred in a mineral water ad with Jennifer Aniston, in which she appeared with her long hair pulled back in two pigtails, kneeling and admiring a false rainbow as the actress approached her. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream company, collects the local newspaper The Modesto Bee, spread a creativity in which a group of cows shouted “A double rainbow!” and he shot the security video that was shown on Delta Air Lines flights.
He also appeared in an advertisement for a software to create photo galleries from Microsoft, a company he claimed to admire. Speaking to the magazine Fast CompanyIn February 2010, Vasquez defined himself as an “SUV”. “I am a photographer and audiovisual creator,” he affirmed, and he showed signs of a personality marked by the spiritual and also the earthly: “Humanity as a whole is eager to connect with its spirituality (…) and it is clear that I should be the spokesman for the Microsoft photo gallery. ”
Microsoft advertisement starring Paul L. Vasquez.
He claimed that in the past six years he had lived on barely $ 5,000 a year (about $ 5,900 today, or 5,400 euros in exchange), and that he had hardly paid anything on account of the famous video. At the time, he claimed to have earned just $ 1,000. “I greatly restrict the activities from which to get money,” he noted. “I removed the ads from the videos because the Spirit [sic] he told me to remove them, because he was the eye of God, “he added.” What I saw was the spirit of God and that is why [el vídeo] be so popular. And how can one put advertisements to the spirit of God? “He wondered. Without detailing the amount and referring to his agent, he declared that the collaboration with Microsoft had given him enough money to buy a computer. “If God wanted to transmit a message to humanity, would he transmit it to a president? No, he would give it to a humble farmer in Yosemite,” he said in a television interview.
“Everyone asks me if it was in place. Well, no,” he clarified to CNN in 2015, asked about the time he recorded the video. He claimed that he had been visited by admirers from places as far away as Brazil or New Zealand, that in Iceland they had made him a throne and that YouTube had dedicated a meeting room to him baptizing it as “the Double Rainbow Room”.
Advertisement with Jennifer Aniston.
Paul L. Vasquez had been born in 1962 in East Los Angeles. He worked for a time as a city firefighter until he moved to Yosemite in 1985. There, he made a living as a security officer, emergency medical technician, forest firefighter, putting up signs and repairing facilities in temporary jobs.
Three years after arriving at the park, he bought a farm of about three hectares, married a woman of Indian descent and had two children with her. After divorcing, he traveled for almost 10 years almost all over the USA and Canada driving a truck, and he even got to try his luck as a professional cage fighter (contact sport that is practiced without rules. He who leaves the space delimited by metal mesh loses). He lived in a caravan and grew marijuana, which he claimed to use to treat ankle pain.
The double rainbow video was followed by many more. He was especially moved by forest fires. On his Facebook page, now dedicated to his memory, the man with the double rainbow published last Wednesday, May 6, that he missed the front patio from which he had recorded the images. On Twitter he defined himself as “The double rainbow bear of fame. Artist, farmer, man from the mountains of Yosemite, YouTube icon, living legend, recipient of the Spirit, servant of humanity, lover of femininity”.
That same Wednesday, but hours before, he announced to his almost 2,000 followers on Facebook that they were testing him for the covid-19 and that in two days they would give him the results. “Right now I’m pretty sure I don’t have it. I don’t have a fever, but something’s wrong with me. I’ll give you news later.” Three days before, he had republished an image of himself, with his characteristic gray beard, long hair and huge smile, during an excursion through the Yosemite Natural Park. He was stationed on top of a mountain in Sierra Nevada: “Every time I get on the Sentinel Dome I think it will be the last one,” he wrote.