Paul Vasquez

According to the New York Times, the creator of one of the very first viral videos has passed. Paul Vasquez was known around Mariposa, California as 'Bear' and he posted a video that blew up on YouTube in 2010.

Bear recorded his reaction to witnessing what he found to be an incredibly moving double rainbow. In the famous Double Rainbow video, he asked the hard question, "What does it mean?" Bear did grow pot as well as his own food, but swears that he was not high when he made the video. People who knew him said that that was just who he was; a guy with a sense of wonderment for nature.

That video has approximately 48 million YouTube views and Vasquez continued to make recordings of his life almost daily right up until he got sick and passed away quickly. According to the New York Times article, Vasquez had been tested for COVID-19 but no cause of death has been given.

This big, kind bear of a man lived about 10 miles outside of Yosemite National Park in isolation for many years, enjoying his communion with nature. In 2017 a tree fell on his house and he had to move into a little apartment in town. Bear hung a huge tapestry of a rainbow on his wall to feel  more at home. He missed his view and being immersed in nature.

My first thought when I saw this dude many years ago was that he was just some hippie without much going on. I was wrong. Bear was a guy that had been of service to his fellow man as well as nature. According to the New York Times, Vasquez worked as a firefighter jumping out of helicopters to fight the fires. That is bad-ass. He also worked in Yosemite Park, was a cage fighter for a night and also drove trucks for a bit.

After the video blew up you, Paul was on my favorite television show at the time, Tosh.0 on the Comedy Channel. He also did a show with Jimmy Kimmel, starred in TV commercials and even appeared in a Delta Air Lines in-flight safety video.

It was nice to have had such a joyful spirit here with us and I'll think of him the next time I see a rainbow.


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