Rene’s father took him to Venezuela when he was 4 years old. They lived in the basement of a tavern with a lady who took care of Rene and her husband. Rene’s mother joined them 2 years later with Rene’s older sister. The 4 of them lived in one of the two bedrooms in the basement.
The other couple occupied the adjacent one. His mother became pregnant with the third son and now there were 5 sharing a room. Rene’s father educated Rene in every aspect of his life. By the time that Rene went to first grade he already knew how to read and write.
His father taught him how to walk, run, jump, whistle, listen, talk, dress, share, argue, observe, investigate, ask questions, tell jokes, dance, respect for the opinions of others, diplomacy, consideration, accept criticism, courtesy, breathe, swim, be patient, stand for what he believe was right, apologize, eat, manners.
The list is too long to name. But one thing should be said. If Rene disobeyed an order, he had to go get a wide belt that his father wore and stand there while his father got ready to beat the living thing out of him. His father’s rules were.
“If I give you an order and you don’t like it, tell me why you don’t like it or if you have a better idea. If your idea is better than mine we will go with your idea but I will be the judge of that. As long as you are under my jurisdiction this is the way that we will operate. If you don’t like it, there is the door”
His father was known in his house as “Vinegar” Rene was known as the dumb one in the family. He always did what his father told him to do. Rene claimed that his father’s best advice was “Learn how to manipulate me, doing exactly what I tell you is the best way”
Rene’s success in life was the result of having learned how to manipulate people. The formula is simple; Observe every person individually, learn about them and be nice to them even when they are been mean to you.
..By the time Rene went
to the first grade, he already knew how to read
At 3 years old. Photo taken by his father in the backyard of the house where they lived.
Rene showing his homework.
Photo taken by his father.
Wherever his father went,
he took Rene along
Rene, three years old.
After his daily workout
Rene. 1961 as a rookie pitcher shortly after signing as a professional player. His record at he time was 7 no hits no runs.
Rene and his childhood friend Petra
High School photo
Caracas Stadium, 1964 just prior to leaving for St. Louis