IMAGINE WHAT HE'LL DO WITH THE APPENDIX: Some parents bronze their babies' shoes as mementos. Former CHiPs star Erik Estrada, first-time father of a 7-month-old boy, went for something different. He wears his son's umbilical cord in a glass-faced locket around his neck. "A lot of people throw an umbilical cord away when it falls off," says Estrada, "but it's something very sentimental to me—a piece of my wife and my child." To complete the set, Estrada plans to set the baby's first tooth in a bracelet.
ROLL THE CREDITS, NOT THE DEBITS: Since the town of Tomales in Northern California has been without a bank for the last six months, citizens have driven 40 miles to take care of money matters. The other morning, however, they woke to see a newly constructed Farmers Bank on the site of their shuttered Bank of America. Waiting for the bank to open, people began to form a line, when suddenly they heard shots from inside and watched a gunman run out of the bank. Assuming a holdup was in progress, they scattered. Actually, they had witnessed the only withdrawal from that particular bank, which had been built during the night by the construction crew of the big-screen adventure-love story Wildfire. The robber was star Steven Bauer.
GIVE OR TAKE A FEW MINUTES: He seems bizarre company for Bizet, and very un-Verdi, but Police drummer Stewart Copeland is writing an opera. "It's a completely straight opera with a 70-piece orchestra and 14 singers," explains Copeland (not to be confused with Aaron Copland) of his seven-scene, one and a half hour epic set during the Crusades. The Police man worked on his masterpiece, Holy Blood and Crescent Moon—commissioned by the Cleveland Opera for its 1987-88 season—while recovering from a broken collarbone suffered in a polo accident. Notes Copeland: "Hopefully, my opera will last longer than rock music, which has a life span of about two weeks and three days."
SHE'S A TAG LADY: Nancy Reagan alway seems to have the right dress for the right occasion, and not by accident. A peek into the White House closet reveals that each of her outfits bears an index card that indicates the designer, the date of purchase, the correct shoes, jewelry and other accessories to wear with it, and a list of the functions at which the item was already worn.
IT'S NOT JUST THE SPIRIT THAT MOVES HIM: On Pope John Paul II's visit to Taizé, where youth from around the world go for ecumenical Christian retreats, crowds met him with resounding applause. He seemed particularly discontented when his itinerary limited him to a mere 40-minute visit. In fact, His Holiness returned to the microphone after one exit. "Unfortunately I must obey and leave," said John Paul, as he shrugged. "Even the Pope has many superiors." Nodding to the cluster of TV camera crews that didn't want the Pontiff to delay their tightly scheduled live broadcast, he explained, "There is one very powerful institution."