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.


Sep 25, 2015
Amy Bennett Williams

Wednesday marked the first official day of autumn on the calendar, but here in Southwest Florida it certainly doesn’t feel any different. National Weather Service meteorologists say we can blame the same subtropical high pressure area that keeps our summers so hot and humid. Along with the sustained warmer temperatures, we’re also still experiencing the tell-tale rainstorms of the summer season. In this week’s encore essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams, she ponders the great variety of rain in our region and how we experience it.

Raising Kids in Southwest Florida

Sep 18, 2015

Any long-time listener or reader of News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams can tell you one thing for sure: she LOVES this place. Although she’s not a born native, she’s quick to defend her status as a true Southwest Floridian with a reminder that she got here as quickly as she could. Despite her implacable fascination and admiration for the region’s people, rich history and wild spaces, she occasionally questions whether raising her children here has been the best decision, but it doesn’t take much to put those concerns to rest, as she tells us in this week’s essay.

Invasive Exotics

Sep 11, 2015
Neil DeMaster via Flickr Creative Commons

One downside to Southwest Florida’s sub-tropical climate is that a vast array of non-native species from Brazilian Pepper to Burmese pythons make themselves right at home here. They don’t just survive; they thrive. And in doing so, disrupt the ecological balance as they outcompete or prey on our native flora and fauna. Like most of us, News-Press story-teller Amy Bennett Williams carries a deep disdain for these harmful exotics, but that contempt isn’t all encompassing. She holds a soft spot for at least one non-native critter as she tells us in this week’s essay.

Labor Day

Sep 4, 2015

For many Americans the upcoming Labor Day holiday is little more than a chance to relax and enjoy a three day weekend, but its historical intent is to recognize the creation of the labor movement and the social and economic achievements of American workers. This week’s essay from News-Press story-teller Amy Bennett Williams recounts her unlikely friendship with a prominent international labor organizer who helped create the United Auto Workers Union back in the 1930s, and who happened to spend part of the year here in Southwest Florida.

Baby Gator

Aug 28, 2015
Amy Bennett Williams

Today’s encore essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams takes us to the Calusa Nature Center in Fort Myers and her first hands-on encounter with a baby alligator. Cradling the docile young reptile in her hands, she considers the contrast between the appeal of the baby specimen and the potential threat posed by an encounter with the adult it will become.