The arch as I and my sister found it when we returned the next day. The runny mortar of the previous day has dried and caked all over the stones. What should I do?
I went back to Ottavino and for another $250 I obtained the granite for the top slab. The lettering was a lot easier because it was a lot bigger, but the cross design on either side of the family name proved to be too intricate and ambitious to be properly executed in granite by hand. And in general I found that working by hand in granite I could not carve deeply enough to provide the relief necessary to make the letters legible from any distance. Thus, as Memorial Day was approaching, when I wanted to have a finished piece ready for the St Tikhon's pilgrimage, I thought of how the ancient Greek temples that we imagine as gleaming white structures were actually at the time painted in brilliant colors, and decided to use a gold leaf paint (Kemp Permagild Gold Enamel) to complete the lettering.