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 essays 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.

Local History Through the News-Press

Apr 29, 2016

History is a favored subject of News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams. And what better way to explore the changing character of a community through time than by going through the archives of your local paper? The News-Press began in November of 1884 as a weekly publication called, “The Fort Myers Press,” and subsequently provides a treasure trove of local news items dating back more than 130 years. In this week’s essay, Williams’ utilizes that archive to take us on a multi-stop trip back in time.

Old C-43

Apr 22, 2016

News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams regularly highlights Southwest Florida’s wondrous animal and plant life, some of her favorite lesser-known spots in Lee County and the colorful cast of characters that make up the region’s history. That history is inextricably linked to the Caloosahatchee River, which William’s highlight’s in this week’s essay.

Blue-Eyed Grass

Apr 15, 2016
Wikimedia Creative Commons

Flora that thrives in Southwest Florida’s subtropical climate is a chief aspect of what makes living in the region unique and what connects us to the mystique and wonder of natural Florida. Today’s encore essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams doesn’t have us gazing up at palm fronds, but rather looking down to take note of blooms in what she calls our late spring "blue period".

The Orange River

Apr 8, 2016

The Orange River in Lee County is an idyllic path on the Great Calusa Blueway and a favored local spot for News-Press Storyteller Amy Bennett Williams who has been wading in its waters for decades. Beyond creating connections with the natural world here in Southwest Florida, the river occasionally turns up artifacts connecting us with the region’s prehistoric past as Williams tells us in this week’s essay.

The Kites of Spring

Mar 25, 2016
Larry Crovo

March 20th marked the official start of the Spring Vernal Equinox, but here in Southwest Florida, the return of Swallow-tailed Kites from their winter home in South America also heralds the return of spring. In this week’s essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams, she recalls a family trip to one of Lee County’s more advantageous areas for spotting both the Swallow-tailed and Applesnail varieties. And kites or no kites, she reminds us how easily we can lose ourselves in Southwest Florida’s remarkable variety of wildlife.