Where did they have the visitation for Shotgun in A Long Way from Chicago?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The visitation for Shotgun is held in Grandma Dowdel's front room.

Although it is hard to tell exactly what is true and what is not about Shotgun Cheatham, what with the tall tales Effie Wilcox and Grandma Dowdel seem determined to spread about him, it would appear that Shotgun "was just an old reprobate who lived poor and died broke".  No one associated with the man much because "he smalled like a polecat...(and) lived in a chicken coop".  When he died, he would have been buried in "a pauper's grave" with no one to mourn him. 

Grandma changes that probability, however.  When a reporter comes by looking for information on Shotgun, and Grandma learns about all the rumors her neighbor and rival Effie Wilcox is spreading about the deceased, she impulsively decides to hold Shotgun's visitation in her own front room.  Her reasons for doing this are unclear and may be as simple as a desire to one-up Effie Wilcox, but Grandma if nothing else is outrageous and unpredictable, so her action is not really out of character.  A number of people, drawn most likely by curiosity, do attend the visitation, but aside from Grandma and her grandchildren, only the reporter and Effie Wilcox end up staying for the night.  In typically over-the-top fashion, Grandma turns the solemn occasion into an extravaganza, when she takes her own shotgun and begins firing at the coffin when a sneaky cat makes it look like the hapless Shotgun is coming back to life (Chapter 1 - "Shotgun Cheatham's Last Night Above Ground").

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A Long Way from Chicago

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