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.


Mar 23, 2018
Amy Bennett Williams

Any long-time reader or listener of News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams knows that her rural Alva homestead contains a motley mix of animals including a donkey, geese, horses, ducks, dogs, chickens, cats, and guinea fowl to name a few.  Perhaps one of the more unusual residents is a goat named, “Barren,” who has both male and female biological markers. 

Shell Game via FLICKR Creative Commons

For the past few months, we've heard about our neighbors to the north struggling with great snowstorms and bone chilling temperatures. It serves as a reminder of just how different our seasons are here in Southwest Florida.  Although we lack what many would identify as typical markers of the changing seasons, News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams notes that here in the subtropics, the flora and fauna provide their own signs of the season.  As she tells us in this week's encore essay, Williams has come to and relish them all; just don't ask her which season is her favorite.

Stone Crabs ENCORE

Mar 9, 2018
Larry Hoffman via Flickr Creative Commons

For our neighbors to the north, these' winter months are typically associated with things like freezing weather and snowfall, but here in the subtropics it’s a time to enjoy mild weather and to indulge in a tasty Florida delicacy: Stone crabs.  The recreational and commercial stone crab harvest season began October 15 and runs through May 15. While anglers, restaurateurs and diners alike look forward to the season, News-Press Story teller Amy Bennett Williams says, she’ll take a pass.

Courtesy of News-Press Archives

This week, we pay homage to the late photographer Charlie McCullough.  A retrospective exhibition of his work opened Feb. 8 at Tower Gallery on Sanibel Island and the Community House on Sanibel will host a screening of a documentary about McCullough and his work titled, “Postcards & Photos from Sanibel – the Sequel” on March 19.

Amy Bennett Williams

News-Press storyteller Amy Bennett Williams is a well-known local history buff, so it should come as no surprise that her post-Hurricane Irma damage surveyance would include the loss of what are perhaps some lesser-known touchstones to our region’s history.  For Williams, that includes lamenting the loss of an iconic Monkey Puzzle tree planted some one hundred years ago at the Koreshan Unity settlement site in Estero.