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.

Courtesy of News-Press Archives

This week, we pay homage to the late photographer Charlie McCullough.  A retrospective exhibition of his work opened Feb. 8 at Tower Gallery on Sanibel Island and the Community House on Sanibel will host a screening of a documentary about McCullough and his work titled, “Postcards & Photos from Sanibel – the Sequel” on March 19.

Amy Bennett Williams

News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams is a well-known local history buff, so it should come as no surprise that her post-Hurricane Irma damage surveyance would include the loss of what are perhaps some lesser-known touchstones to our region’s history.  For Williams, that includes lamenting the loss of an iconic Monkey Puzzle tree planted some one hundred years ago at the Koreshan Unity settlement site in Estero.

Rocinante

Dec 8, 2017
Amy Bennett Williams

Living among the vast menagerie of animals that live on News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams’ rural Alva homestead can be a labor of love, but the work, care and patience involved can also pay off in dividends.  That turned out to be especially true from Williams, when years ago she took in a mare she named Rocinante.  The horse’s previous owner had opted for euthanization over the cost of surgeries and medical care she required and that’s where Williams entered the picture.

Thanksgiving (ENCORE)

Nov 17, 2017
Don McCullough via Flickr creative commons

Thanksgiving is officially now less than a week away, which means preparations for the holiday should be well underway.  If you’re stressed because you haven’t found the time to begin preparing your home for visitors, to brine a turkey or to select all the items for your table spread, you’re in good company.

As generations of people and even civilizations come and go, it’s a mere geologic second for the visible stars in our skyscape.  What we see today hasn’t changed much from the time of the ancient Greeks and we still use the names they gave to identify constellations and map the night sky. In this week’s encore essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams, she considers our human fascination with celestial bodies and perhaps how other cultures throughout the ages have interpreted the stars.  

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