"Oh, it was terrible. And when you didn't have hardly nothing to eat, and your kids would cry for something to eat and you couldn't give it. We was living in a little old two-room house. And we cooked with blackeyed peas until I never wanted to ever see another blackeyed pea. I just prayed and prayed and prayed all the time that God would take care of us and not let my children starve…
   "I must have said, 'Well, if we're dead, we're just dead.' That's all I can remember because I don't remember talking to her [the photographer Dorothea Lange]…
   "I never once thought about living this long [81 years in 1979]. Well, I just didn't think we'd survive. You want to know something we're not living much better than we did, as high as everything is, than we did then…
   "Seems like I'm not satisfied. I have too much on my mind. It seems like I have more temptations put on me than anyone. Course, that's what the Bible said, that's the way we'd be tried out. And every time I ask God to remove this awful burden off of my heart, he does."

Nettie Featherston – "If you die… "


Other Excerpts from Dust Bowl Descent Interviews:

Darrel Coble & Lois Houle
Florence Thompson Migrant Mother
Nettie Featherston, "If You Die…"
Lois Houle on "Relief"
William Huravitch & Chewing Tobacco
Vern Evans, Oregon or Bust
Walter Ballard, Riding the Rails
Walter Ballard, Tractored Out
Fritz Fredrick Growing Wheat
Madge May on the FSA
Harvey Taft, FSA Farmsteads
May Ross Lincoln, School Programs
Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land"