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This link leads to an audio recording of James Gray telling how he visited the prairies during the 1930’s and his car was inundated with grasshoppers! he was a journalist with the winnipeg free press and wrote several books about the prairies, the most notable being "The Winter Years". CBC has more background coverage of the 1930s drought here.

Online images from this era can be found here.

Recommended Books:

Although not directly related to the characters behind "A Token of Love", this news article demonstrates the prevelance of exchanging such objects during the war: CBC News, May 13 2015 - Nearly a century after he was killed, Pte. Sidney Halliday’s remains ID’d by a token of love.