Amy Bennett Williams' Essays

Fridays @ 8:45am

Amy Bennett Williams touches our hearts each week with a special Essay. From the beauty found in Southwest Florida to heart-warming stories of family, friends and neighbors, her essays take us around our community and often into our past.  Her commentaries extol the beauty found in the commonplace objects and places – and are delivered with a touch of tenderness.

Williams is a long-time writer for The News-Press who started emptying ashtrays and writing obits and now has the coolest job title she can imagine: Storyteller. She's also author of the pictorial history book, "Along the Caloosahatchee" and is at work on another. She and her husband, Roger, also a writer, live in rural Alva with their two sons and way too many animals.

Girl Versus Vine – Vine Wins

Nov 27, 2015
Amy Bennett Williams

The holidays are upon us and folks are already hard at work putting up festive light displays and decorating homes. Southwest Florida flora can provide some creative natural holiday decorations, but News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams has a good idea what she WONT be decking her home with this season as she tells us in this week’s encore essay.

Intoxicating Colors of Southwest Florida

Nov 13, 2015

For Southwest Florida residents who hail from the north and didn’t grow up in the subtropics, the fall season can be a strange time; especially this year with our unseasonably warm weather.  Instead of pulling out warmer clothing and anticipating the changing colors of autumn leaves, it can seem like summer never really ended.  Even though we may miss out on the brilliant colors of fall foliage, News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams reminds us in this week’s encore essay that Southwest Florida has plenty of its own vibrant and intoxicating natural displays of color and in the land of endless summer, we get them year-round.


Nov 6, 2015
Amy Bennett Williams

Any long-time reader or listener of News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams knows that her rural Alva homestead contains a motley mix of animals including a donkey, geese, horses, ducks, dogs, chickens, cats, and guinea fowl to name a few.  A more recent arrival is a goat named, “Barren,” who has both male and female biological markers. 

Like most of the animals who find their way to the Williams’ home, Barren is a rescue and doesn’t provide much in the way of utility beyond companionship and a charismatic personality. 

Daylight Saving Time

Oct 30, 2015

Don’t forget to set your clocks back an hour this weekend as Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday November first.  Many of us relish that extra hour just as much as we loath losing an hour each spring.

The practice itself has a long history in the U.S. It was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin back in the late 1700s, but wasn’t actually implemented for the first time until 1918.

Tom Gaskins’ Knees

Oct 16, 2015
Amy Bennett Williams

Along U.S. 27 in Palmdale, which was once a major transportation artery, stands what remains of one of Florida’s lost tourist attractions: Tom Gaskins’ Cypress Knee Museum. For decades the site was home to the eccentric entrepreneur and his unique collection of cypress knees; those stalagmite-looking growths on the buttress roots of Bald Cypress trees that abound deep in the Florida swampland. The museum has fallen into neglect and disrepair since Gaskins’ death 17 years ago, but the historic site continues to contain small glimmers of its former glory as News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams tells us in this week’s essay.