It’s always kind of uncomfortable writing about celebrities after they’ve died on the Internet because there’s a certain exploitative quality to it that doesn’t sit well. In fact, some of the tributes that came out hours after Paul Walker’s death felt a little dishonest, and I got the sense that some bloggers were in a kind of competition to see who could say the nicest things about Paul Walker and his movies, and in many cases, those bloggers and movie critics were the very ones who had maligned Walker as an actor throughout his career.
As Vince wrote on FilmDrunk, writing about celebrity deaths in the social media age can get really weird. Daniel Carlson, I thought, wrote the most honest, touching eulogy of Paul Walker on the Internet, and by being honest about Walker as an actor, he was better able to pay his respects to Walker the man. But all the words that the Internet has written about the generosity and kindness of Paul Walker this week were absolutely deserved, as the report below can attest.
A few years ago, Walker was browsing in a high-end jewelry store, where a man who had just returned from a tour in Iraq was looking at engagement rings with his fiancee. When his fiancee spotted a ring that she “really really liked,” her soon-to-be husband saw the $9,000 price tag and said, “I’m sorry honey, but I really can’t afford that.” After they left the store, however, Walker paid for the ring, the couple got a call to return to the store, and were floored to learn that the ring had been paid for by an anonymous saint.
The jewelry clerk was sworn to secrecy (and didn’t even reveal it to the couple), but in the wake of Walker’s death, she decided to tell the story, and a really sweet story it is.
Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, the studio behind Fast and Furious put a nice little tribute together for Walker and posted it to YouTube this morning.