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.

Mr. Dolphin and Mr. Lobster

Jan 29, 2016
Michael Coghlan

The menagerie of animals at News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams’ Alva homestead are often the focus of her essays, but this week, the animals taking the spotlight are a pair of cartoonish blow-up pool toys. Besides facilitating poolside family fun, the complex origin of these plastic blow-up flotation toys can serve as a connection to our planet’s ancient past.


Jan 22, 2016
opacity via Flickr

This week’s essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams extolls the tart and tasty qualities of her favorite fruit. It’s perhaps a lesser known member of the citrus family and for Williams, it’s not just about the fruit itself, but it’s connection to her love of Florida and family.

Ann Winterbotham Campbell

Jan 15, 2016

This week marks four years since the death of one of our region’s most beloved characters. Ann Winterbotham Campbell is perhaps best known for her work bringing the city of Sanibel Island into existence and is largely responsible for the island’s reputation for a strong conservation ethic. For this week’s offering from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams, we listen back to her 2012 essay sharing her own fond memories of an unforgettable woman.

Edison Bridge

Jan 8, 2016

The opening ceremony for the original Edison Bridge in downtown Fort Myers occurred on the 82nd birthday of its namesake, famed inventor and long-time Fort Myers winter resident Thomas Edison. In this week’s offering from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams, she transports us back to that time through the remembrances of people who were just young children at the time, about the Edison and Ford families.

The Truth About Carmine

Dec 11, 2015
Brittany via Flickr

Consuming or wearing a parasitic scaled insect may not sound too appealing. However, chances are you’ve eaten them in some form or another as a food dye. And the brilliant saturated red color emitted as a defensive carbonic acid by the bugs has been used as a red dye for clothing garments going back centuries. Experts believe it may have even been used by the Calusa Indians. Although, perhaps no one appreciates carmines quite as much as the region’s endangered gopher tortoises as News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams explains in this week’s essay.