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.

The Herring Gull

Oct 21, 2016
Fyn Kynd Photography

This week’s offering from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams takes us back to her days studying anthropology at the University of Illinois before she’d fallen in love with Southwest Florida. It’s the story of how she came into possession of a few peculiar items from a small neglected museum collection that have traveled with her throughout the years.

Smells of North River Road

Oct 14, 2016

Following another sweltering subtropical summer, this week’s breezy and slightly cooler weather has been a reprieve prompting some locals to give the air conditioning a break and open up the windows. The same goes for celebrating the return of driving with the windows down and enjoying the return of sweet temperate breezes. That’s the inspiration for this week’s encore essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams as she takes us on an olfactory tour along North River Road and reveling in the tell-tale smells of both the wild and agrarian spaces of far eastern Lee County.


Sep 9, 2016

In consideration of the factors that create one’s sense of place, it can be easy to overlook one powerful characteristic: the smells. In this week’s encore essay from News-Press story teller Amy Bennett Williams, she takes us on an olfactory journey through some of the common and not-so-common scents associated with the Southwest Florida experience including her favorite; a smell named by geologists in the 1960s, as 'Petrichor.'

Blue Totems

Jul 29, 2016
Amy Bennett WIlliams

In her best-selling book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo proposes a simple test to help people de-clutter their lives.  Hold an object in your hand and consider it, asking yourself, “Does this bring me joy?”  We all have those certain objects in our lives; those random knickknacks or found objects that don’t really have any monetary value, but which are deeply infused with meaning and memory.  They may represent a particular place or serve as symbol of an important relationship.  In this week’s essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams she details a couple of these items in her own life and the implacable bonds of love they represent.

Tamiami Trail

Jul 22, 2016
JaxStrong via Flickr

When the Tamiami Trail connecting Naples with Miami first opened in 1928, it was considered an awe inspiring feat of human engineering and control over nature, but environmental advocates today lament the project’s profound and unintended consequences. In today’s essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams, she details some of those perhaps lesser known consequences among some of the sunshine state’s indigenous people