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.

Holiday Swamp Walk

Dec 9, 2016
Clyde Butcher Galleries

The holidays are upon us and for many Southwest Florida residents, that means preparing for visits from friends and family as our region’s mild winter temperatures make a great escape for our friends to the north.  For those wondering how to entertain their holiday guests, some fresh local seafood and the ubiquitous trip to the beach are always crowd pleasers, but this year, News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams suggests turning our attention a little further inland to the Big Cypress National Preserve for a more unconventional, yet truly authentic Southwest Florida experience.

Vulture Treasures

Dec 2, 2016
Henrique Pinto

Florida is home to turkey vultures and black vultures, both of which are a common site in our skyscape riding a wind updraft in search of carrion it can smell out from up to a mile away. While these scavengers certainly don’t conform to our conventional standards of awe and beauty like a roseate spoonbill or a painted royal bunting, if you spot a kettle of vultures circling ever closer to the ground, it just might lead you to some natural and truly authentic Southwest Florida treasures as News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams tells us in this week’s essay.

The Great Horned Owl

Nov 4, 2016
Alan Schmierer

In his seminal work, “The Immense Journey,” author and anthropologist Loren Eiseley penned the often cited quote: “If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in the water.” That sentiment is certainly shared by News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams, who is just as likely to find magic in the palmetto scrub around her Alva homestead, exploring an old growth cypress forest, or even in a rare encounter with a powerful bird of prey while walking along a creek bed, as she tells us in this week’s essay.

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.