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.

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Essays
8:45 am
Fri December 5, 2014

Peacocks

This week News Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams pays homage to the peacock; a bird species here in Southwest Florida that embodies multiple meanings of the word, ‘exotic.’ Their unmistakable call and the over the top kaleidoscope of color in the feathers of the male make this bird impossible to mistake for anything else. And while they’re certainly not a native species to Southwest Florida, Williams says they have been known to roam in the dense Alva scrub that surrounds her home.

Essays
8:45 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Boat-tailed Grackle

Wikimedia Creative Commons

Southwest Florida is home a wide variety of beautiful birds, particularly in the winter months. And while visitors and residents alike flock to bird havens like the J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge for the chance to spot a distinctive Roseate Spoonbill or a majestic heron, this week, News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams turns our attention to one of Southwest Florida’s less celebrated bird species: the Boat-tailed Grackle. While they’re easy to overlook, Williams celebrates these prolific and resourceful birds.

Essays
8:35 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Cold Snap

Amy Bennett Williams

With overnight temperatures reaching lows in the 40s this week, today’s installment from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams explores how a sub-tropical cold snap can impact our perceptions here in Southwest Florida.

Essays
8:35 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Slow Food

Amy Bennett Williams

  “May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude who mistake frenzy for efficiency.”

That’s an excerpt from the Slow Food Manifesto penned in 1989 by Slow Food International founding member Folco Portinari in reaction to the rapid propagation of fast food restaurants seemingly everywhere you look. News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams was only introduced to the manifesto a few years ago, but the Slow Food Movement’s principles of eating local and taking the time to savor a home-cooked meal are ideals she’s long embraced as we learn in this week’s mouth-watering essay.

Essays
8:35 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Palmettos

Credit Amy Bennett Williams

This week’s essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams pays homage to one of Southwest Florida’s prolific plant species: the Saw Palmetto. This hearty plant’s sharp spines will most certainly leave their mark on those who venture into a dense thicket of them, and while they’re not conventionally friendly, Williams’ has grown to appreciate the palmetto trails that cradle her rural home.

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