HARKER HEIGHTS — A 38-man selection committee Saturday named Don Strawn the 2013 Comanche Gap Medicine Man.
In a closed voting process, 23 former Medicine Men deliberated for 45 minutes before choosing Strawn, said 1996 recipient Joe Maines. The event was conducted on city property adjacent to Farm-to-Market Road 2410 and Comanche Gap Road.
This is the 34th year of the Medicine Man award. Bill Alford founded the event in 1980 to honor selfless local residents who support their community and protect nature, Maines said.
Strawn, a Florence resident who owns Strawn’s Barber Shop in Harker Heights, tends a garden and shares food with neighbors, family members and friends, Maines said.
While he hasn’t eaten Strawn’s produce, Maines said Strawn has made him “the most delicious” homemade pecan-infused chocolate candy, despite Strawn’s chocolate allergy.
Gardening played a role in Strawn’s childhood.
“If we didn’t have that garden, we’d be in bad shape,” Strawn said. “We didn’t have electricity.”
Along with his produce, Strawn, 75, gives free haircuts to those in need, going to hospitals, nursing homes and customers’ houses.
Shortly before Alford’s death in February 2011, Strawn cut his hair at the hospital, Maines said.
“He’ll help you do anything that you need help doing.”
In his spare time, Strawn likes hunting, fishing and visiting his grandchildren, who all live within 13 miles of his home, he said.
“It’s a great feeling,” Strawn said of winning the award. “That’s a great group of people out there. Everybody has a good time.”