As of Monday, we were informed that the Idyllwild Summer Concert Series does not want our involvement this year.

Since shortly after its inception, when it was still located at Mt. San Jacinto State Park, we’ve supported the series with free advertising and stories in exchange for a basic sponsorship.

Yes, that’s true — free. Who would turn down free publicity? But that’s what Ken Dahleen decided to do this year.

Pete Holzman and I connect before the series each year to start running the ads, and Marshall speaks to Ken about the line-up so we can get that information out to you.

This year, we also covered the issue surrounding the series venue when building on the Idyllwild Community Center site would possibly shut down the series for the summer.

But then, Jay Johnson offered his property across the highway and the series was back on again. We covered that, too.

Even the county supervisor, Chuck Washington, gave a $2,500 grant to the series to help with the need for electricity at the site. We covered that, too.

When the ICC building was delayed and the series was allowed to be back on that site, we covered that, too.

When the series’ line-up was announced, we covered that, too.

We also wrote about the first concert occurring this week. And our stories always included our plea for contributions to the Summer Concert Series.

Every time I’ve been at the concert, I’ve also donated because we all know that the concert isn’t free. It costs money to pay the musicians, the rent, etc., etc.

But the advertising doesn’t cost Ken a thing all these years.

Yes, I was a bit peeved Monday after Marshall had interviewed Ken and written a story about the second concert, and I got the message from Pete that we were no longer welcome as sponsors.

Marshall isn’t free. He isn’t a volunteer. Jack and I are volunteers, but Marshall isn’t. Space in the paper isn’t free, either. I pulled the story. As far as Jack and I are concerned, the series is now a photo op.

To us, that decision to dump the Town Crier was nonsense.

So, you won’t see the Idyllwild Town Crier sponsorship banner up at the concerts this year. I’m sure Ken has crumpled or ordered someone to crumple up that banner and toss it in the trash.

Ken doesn’t want our involvement, so I guess Jack and I are going to enjoy entertainment at home or elsewhere on Thursdays this summer. And, that gives us one less thing to write about in an already busy summer season.

Pete, we appreciate your kindness and help these many years.

Becky Clark, Editor