I made this photograph during a family gathering at Thanksgiving 2012. Papa Joe, as he was so affectionately called by everyone in my hometown of Livingston, Texas, had just turned 90. Class of ’43, Elmer, “Papa Joe” Pedigo was a Fightin’ Texas Aggie to the core. He served in the Corp of Cadets, before being called out to serve as an Ensign in the United States Navy mid way thru his collegiate career, but he faithfully returned to graduate in 1945 from his beloved Texas A&M University. Papa Joe served as mayor of my hometown from 1968 to 1985, and went on to continue a life of service. Lately, I’d been able to spend a little more time around this great man. My brother had recently married into his family, a family of which we Davis’ are honored to be a part. When I sat down with Papa Joe and inquired about the ring that he wore, he lit up and proudly harked that it was his Aggie Ring and that he hadn’t taken it off since the day he’d gotten it. The gold shined as he. Papa Joe was an amazing man of God and we will all miss him. As the preacher man said at the service, “Papa Joe’s life preached his own sermon”.
Papa Joe would be happy to know that 15% of the proceeds from this image will go to the The Association of Former Students Aggie Ring Scholarship Fund. This Scholarship has been established to help ensure that the Aggie Ring is available to every Aggie that has earned the right to wear one.