Former LA County Firefighter (Better Known As The Double Rainbow Guy) Dies At 57
Even if you didn't know Paul Vasquez by name, you might know him as the Double Rainbow Guy aka the man behind the ecstatic viral video with more than 47 million views.
Vasquez, who was 57, died Saturday at an emergency room in Mariposa.
Vasquez posted about being tested for coronavirus last week but said at the time he didn't think he had it. His cause of death has not been reported.
Before being tested, Vasquez wrote, "If it’s the virus and it’s my time to recycle I look forward to coming back to a new body and starting over, whatever happens I’m enjoying the ride."
Located in Northern California, Mariposa County, which has a little more than 17,000 residents, is currently reporting 15 confirmed COVID-19 cases and zero deaths.
Vasquez lived on a small plot outside Yosemite and farmed his own food. One day, that location put him in the perfect spot to see a rare double rainbow, one that stretched "all the way across the sky" and was just "too much" for him.
Vasquez posted a very sincere video expressing joy and wonder at the rainbow and its vibrant colors, including wondering about the meaning of existence and breaking down in tears. People wondered if he was high (he said he wasn't, although he does grow marijuana plants and had another rainbow video which he was high for), and as some people do when another person is sincere, they made fun of him.
Vasquez was born in East L.A. His dad was a bus driver, which allowed the young Vasquez to explore the city with a free bus pass.
When he grew up, he became an L.A. County firefighter who spent two years jumping out of helicopters to fight fires, according to CNN. He was still posting about firefighting just days before his death but from the perspective of someone trying to protect his home.
He transitioned into a life of the great outdoors, moving to Yosemite in 1985. He worked as a security officer, EMT and a firefighter there, before moving on to work for the National Park Service. He even spent time as a cage fighter.
Here's to an L.A. outdoors lover who helped fight fires, appreciated the little things and shared a moment that many will never forget. All the way.