Find the "Easter Eggs"
So, you know the term “Easter egg,” right? Not the decorated eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny (or the Easter Beagle, for fans of Snoopy and Peanuts), but those tiny details—secret messages, images, foreshadowing, clues, or inside jokes—tucked into movies, TV shows, books, or video games by their creators, to entertain readers, viewers or game players sharp enough to catch them.
I hid seven Easter eggs in my new historical novel Galloway’s Gamble 2: Lucifer & the Great Baltimore Brawl. To make finding them a little easier, I included hints on my Acknowledgements page (below). There are salutes to classic TV Westerns, songs, and baseball manager Casey Stengel, of all people.
If you’ve already read Galloway’s Gamble 2, I’d love to know how many you found. Please use the Comments section of this post (or click on the Contact button above to send an email via howardweinsteinbooks.com) to share your score or ask about the ones you missed. If you haven’t read the novel yet, maybe this extra challenge will tempt you. Here’s some additional guidance:
Have Gun – Will Travel was a long-running CBS Western (225 half-hour episodes from 1957-63) starring craggy-faced Richard Boone as Paladin, the elegant, cultured gunslinger for hire. GG2 has three tributes to this classic series—the name of the hotel where Paladin lived; the actor’s name; and a beloved hotel employee.
Alias Smith and Jones was a humorous ABC Western (50 episodes, 1971-73) about a pair of amiable outlaws who try to go straight. And yes, it was inspired by the then-recent Oscar winning Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In GG2, it gets a one-word nod—the name of a fictional detective agency.
Deadwood ran for 36 poetically profane episodes on HBO from 2004-2006 and is considered to be among the best TV and movie Westerns ever. My salute to Deadwood was sparked by one of my favorite scenes in the show, involving a debate over canned peaches.
Gigi was a 1958 movie musical that won Best Picture among its nine Oscars. “I Remember It Well,” one of fourteen songs by Broadway royalty Lerner and Loewe, was a duet sung by charming Frenchman Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold as two old flames with divergent memories of a long-ago affair—and it inspired similar reminiscence by two of my favorite Galloway's Gamble 2 characters, Mississippi Mike Morgan and Frenchy Muldoon.
Tony Bennett, the seemingly ageless velvet-voiced singer who died in 2023, may seem like an odd Western Easter egg. But when extraordinary (fictional) performer Emmaline Rose sings the praises of San Francisco in GG2, I honored the man who famously left his heart there by borrowing a lyric that fit perfectly in Emmaline’s intro to her audience.
Casey Stengel (above) achieved fame as the longtime manager of the lordly New York Yankees during their 1949-1960 dynasty. After managing one of the best teams in sports history, Stengel became the first manager of one of baseball’s worst teams—the 1962-64 New York Mets. He is equally famous for stirring the English language into uniquely colorful convolutions known as Stengelese. Stengel’s inimitable way with words finds its way into the mouth of GG2’s main bad guy, Cortland Van Brunt III.
Canadian Railroad Trilogy is an epic song about the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad from 1881-85, written and performed by legendary Canadian folksinger Gordon Lightfoot (at right) to commemorate Canada’s 1967 Centennial. Lightfoot died in 2023, and I honored him by borrowing a single unusual word from the song—navvies, a 19th century British slang word meaning "laborers"—and a brief lyric “Long before the white man and long before the wheel” to sum up the long procession of history.