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.

Taxonomical Context

Aug 3, 2018
Clyde Butcher

News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams not only loves tromping around in wild places – she also likes to be able to place wild things in their proper taxonomical context. But in this week’s encore essay, she discovers that not everyone has the same need or appreciation for detail.

I had a strange moment with Clyde Butcher once, probably a decade ago, that has haunted me ever since.


Jul 20, 2018
Aileen Realeza via Flickr Creative Commons

Long time listeners and readers of News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams are well aware of her passion for foods that grow and thrive quite well in Southwest Florida’s subtropical climate.  From mangoes to key limes to wild oranges, she relishes them all and maintains an acute mental map of the various locations in our region where such sweet culinary treasures can be harvested from the wild.  Now that it’s summer, this week’s essay pays homage to yet another subtropical treat that thrives in our climate, yet has not become a staple in the produce sections of local grocery stores.

Irresistable BBQ

Jul 6, 2018
Lucas Richarz via Flickr Creative Commons

No advertising.  No signage. No regular hours of operation.  At first glance it doesn’t sound like the recipe for a particularly stable business model, but that could depend entirely on what you’re selling. If the recipe also includes a smoker, slabs of ribs and a secret recipe of spices and sauce, you may just have an irresistible product, as News Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams tells us in this week’s essay.

Ortona Cemetery

Jun 22, 2018
Amy Bennett Williams

Following up on an old, but not forgotten tip, News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams recently traveled to the historic Ortona Cemetery in rural Glades County in search of artifacts and details of an alleged and obscure murder mystery.  While her search didn’t exactly lead Williams to what she was looking for, the small cemetery, which includes some graves dating back 100 years, proved to be a treasure trove of touchstones covering a broad spectrum of Southwest Florida’s rich history from Seminole tribesmen to hurricanes.

Father's Day ENCORE

Jun 15, 2018
Amy Bennett Williams

As Sunday marks Father’s Day, and just before the official start of summer, this week’s encore essay from News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams brings us a childhood remembrance of time spent with her own father on Midwest summer days and the lessons he taught her, including how to master the skill of rail walking.