Diana lives on in collection

September 24, 1997


Staff Writer

The death of Princess Diana on Aug. 31 might have been less tragic if she hadn't touched so many lives, hadn't died so young and hadn't been so charismatic.

For those who never knew her, she leaves behind a life in pictures.

And one Hagerstown woman has thousands of them.

Pam Showe said her large assortment of Diana memorabilia grew one piece at a time.

"When I was younger, I was never really into rock music, or like some teenagers, Madonna. Then she came along," Showe said. "I watched the royal wedding on TV, and thought, like most people, it was a real fairy tale. That's how I got started."

Showe has an unopened 500-piece puzzle made from a photograph of Diana, seated, in a pink dress with Charles standing beside her. It came in a royal blue tin box.


There's a children's pop-up book - with pull-tabs that make the figures move. On one page, a tug on the tab makes the couple kiss during their wedding scene.

In her hope chest, Showe kept the royal couple wedding dolls wearing miniature copies of the authentic wedding clothes.

She bought eight videos about Diana and three color family pictures.

Showe, 31, even has slides of the royal wedding.

"One of the reasons I liked her was she seemed sweet and nice," she said.

Showe's father, George B. Crider, 60, of State Line, Pa., said his daughter collected for personal reasons, not for net worth.

"She used to go to the post office to send her money order to get her monthly magazine. Anything she could get her hands on, she'd apply for," said Nancy Crider, 44, George Crider's wife.

Most of Showe's collection came directly from England, like the English bone china teacup and saucer set. On the cup is printed, "To commemorate the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer, July 29, 1981."

There's a music box with their wedding photo that plays, "Camelot," a calendar and 30 unused postcards.

Showe said the first item she bought was a book about the royal wedding.

"Probably the books are the most special, because they show a lot of pictures of her. She was a trend-setter. She wore beautiful clothes. I like the gowns," Showe said.

Showe's stack of 43 hardcover picture album-style books include a royal baby book with christening pictures and copies of Prince William's birth registration, books on the royal wedding and numerous biographies.

Showe pulled out a 10-inch stack of more than 50 full-color magazines, most from Britain, and all focusing on Diana, including Berkswell's "The Royal Year" and "The Majesty Magazine."

Showe, an office clerk at Maryland Ribbon Co., lives on West Franklin Street with her husband, Dave Showe, 44, and their daughter, Breanna, who will be 2 in October.

George Crider said he recognizes qualities of Diana in his daughter.

"She's kind, she's joyful. She'll do anything for anybody. She's that kind of daughter," he said. "The news (of Diana's death) really hit her hard. The collection was special to her before - now it's really special."

Showe said she probably won't buy anything else unless it really catches her eye.

"I'm not a collector in it for the money. That's not why I started. I liked her. She represented people's hopes and dreams. She was a true princess - a person you could look up to. She got involved and did a lot of good in her life. I'm a Princess Diana fan."

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