Rachel Hotz Openlander

Rachel Hotz Openlander about 1985. Oil on Canvas. This is a photo image. I scanned the original painting to show the DETAIL which is not visible in the photo.

Rachel was my step-mother-in-law. When my wife Judy's mother passed away, Judy's father, Gerald P. Openlander, eventually REMARRIED. His new wife was Rachel Hotz, the widow of a surgeon. Gerald had in fact dated her fifty years earlier when they were both young and single. Rachel was a graduate of Wellesly. She taught Latin for a number of years and then went back to school, this time to Johns Hopkins,and took a degree in nursing. A few years ago,at Christmas time, when Rachel was frail and almost deaf, the family was gathered at the lake at evening time. The gulls sat on the calm water and the stars were appearing in the sky. Rachel started speaking, and we realized it was a poem, perfect for the occaision. She had learned it when she was a girl. This is the poem:

But peacefull was the night 
Wherein the Prince of light 
His reign of peace upon the earth began: 
The Windes with wonder whist, 
Smoothly the waters kist, 
Whispering new joyes to the milde Ocean, 
Who now hath quite forgot to rave, 
While Birds of Calm sit brooding on the charmèd wave, 

The Stars with deep amaze 
Stand fixt in stedfast gaze, 

John Milton 
Hymn on the Morning of Christ's Nativity