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.

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. 

Confederate Memorial Day

Apr 21, 2017

Next Wednesday will mark Confederate Memorial Day in Florida.  The holiday recognizes the roughly 258,000 Confederate soldiers who died in the line of duty during the American Civil War.  That’s prompted this week’s essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams looking back on her own son’s time in elementary school and reflecting on some of the historic portraits that hung to walls of his school.

Lee County Black History Society

This Sunday marks the Easter Holiday and here in Southwest Florida residents are gearing up for a long-held tradition in Fort Myers that today attracts tens of thousands of people:  The Dunbar Easter Parade.  This week’s encore essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams pays homage to the legendary local who founded the parade 72 years ago.

Vincent Abbatiello

Long-time listeners and readers of News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams are well aware of her passion for Southwest Florida’s wild spaces.  In today’s essay, Williams’ takes us along for a couple of family journeys, hiking the miles of muddy trails in Estero Bay Preserve State Park.  The protected mangroves and marshes in the preserve provide vital habitat for indigenous wildlife and a buffer from the impacts of creeping development on Estero Bay itself, which was Florida’s first aquatic preserve.


Mar 24, 2017
Clark Maxwell via Flickr Creative Commons

The village of Goodland in Collier County is marked as the official site where Hurricane Wilma made Florida landfall during the record-breaking 2005 Atlantic Hurricane season. However, News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams tells us that many years before that, the quaint fishing village served as the vital backdrop for childhood visits with her grandfather.  For her, the community and it’s long-preserved character are infused with touchstone memories, formative experiences and provided that initial attraction that eventually led her to build a life here in Southwest Florida.