VIDEO: Prisoner 'collapses after smoking legal high Spice in cell' as other lags watchThis is part of an occasional series called "Rewind: Where are they now? CNN Call him Bear. Business Markets Tech Luxury. Stars Screen Binge Culture Media.
This Guy Makes Millions Playing Video Games on YouTube - The Atlantic
This is part of an occasional series called "Rewind: Where are they now? CNN Call him Bear. Business Markets Tech Luxury. Stars Screen Binge Culture Media. Business Culture Gadgets Future Startups. Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Whatever happend to the 'Double Rainbow Guy'? In the five years since his video on YouTube went viral, though, the mountain man who lives by Yosemite National Park has started to go by another name: He assumed that stature after he spoke with awestruck wonder about discovering a double rainbow in the wilderness.
He even wept in the video, which has racked up more than 42 million views on YouTube - and counting. The world has embraced him and his infectious enthusiasm since he first posted the video in Strangers have flown him to Brazil and New Zealand to shake his hand and chat.
People in Iceland built him a throne when he visited. Vasquez has done Jimmy Kimmel and commercials for Microsoft. He's even in an in-flight safety video for Delta Air Lines. He's so iconic in our era of social media that YouTube headquarters even named a gathering space after him, called the Double Rainbow Room, he says. So you'll have to forgive him if he's gone a little Hollywood -- or is trying to. He says he's in talks with "one of the biggest entertainment companies in world" for a reality TV series -- about him, his wilderness retreat, his tattered mobile home with holes in the floor, and his new effort to lose weight.
True to showbiz, he won't say who he's talking with other than to say it's "a really big name. Most importantly, however, his post-viral experience left him with a feeling of having been touched by something greater. If God wanted to give a message to humanity, would he give it to a president? He would give to a humble farmer in Yosemite," Vasquez says. That's what's going on in the video. Vasquez evokes an eccentric of the old American West, with a devil-may-care spirit who spins yarns of quixotic adventure.
It began in the barrio of East Los Angeles, where he was born. As a boy, he ventured alone throughout Los Angeles on public buses, using a free pass because his dad was a bus driver.
He then became a Los Angeles County firefighter, jumping out of helicopters for two years. He quit that and found his home in the great Yosemite in It was the park he visited as a kid with his family. He worked for a park concessionaire as a security officer, emergency medical technician and a firefighter again. Then for the National Park Service, posting public signs and fixing backcountry utilities as a seasonal worker.
He got divorced, drove a truck for 10 years -- to 48 states and Canada -- gained pounds and then lost pounds training for a professional cage fight in His opponent was 6-foot-8, pounds: His official record as a super heavyweight fighter: He spends his days in foot-byfoot mobile home, circa , in the highlands about seven miles outside Mariposa, California, and just 10 miles from the edge of Yosemite itself. Road signs -- such as "Do Not Enter" -- cover holes in the floor, but he brought electricity and water to the farm years ago.
He has everything he needs on his hillside spread. At an altitude of 3, feet, he grows vegetables and cultivates 35 fruit trees: His chickens provide eggs. He cuts his own firewood. He also grows 24 marijuana plants -- legal in California -- because he has a medical marijuana prescription for pain a bad ankle.
He's been trying since to cultivate a strain to cure epilepsy. It helps when you grow your own food, he says. Yet he offers the most modern of twists: He posts videos of his life on the mountain once a day -- 3, of them so far, he estimates. Altogether, his YouTube videos garnered One of his videos shows a wildfire devouring a tree-covered hillside. Wildfire shocks 'Double Rainbow' guy Another video shows pine trees on a hilltop framed by a setting sun.
We saw that in the moon last night. Man, I'm telling you. It was like - you know what I said? I said, 'That looks like LA burning. He could have made twice that, but he said no to offers to put ads on his double rainbow video. He even turned down soft drink companies' offers to use the double rainbow video in their advertising.
The only thing that really changes is that I do a lot of interviews," he says.