While revising a piece of writing about high school last week, I thought about those little lawn jockeys that you rarely see anymore (at least around here) and that were not-so-strangely ubiquitous in Grand Haven when I was in high school. You know the ones: the black guy, usually in a red jacket and white pants, perhaps holding only a hitching ring (in case Some Dutch Guy on a Horse shows up at your house) or perhaps holding a lantern, making sure that Massuh makes it up the sidewalk and into the house safely.
Specifically, what I remembered was a conversation I had with Melanie in which we dreamed up a new lawn jockey: The Vandersambo. What we should do, we decided, was steal a whole bunch of these ornaments, paint the faces white, maybe hint at a little blonde hair poking out from underneath the jockey's cap, and color the eyes blue. A lawn jockey that looked more like the population of Grand Haven. A lawn jockey that might light the walkway to Russ's Family Restaurant (though not, of course, on a Sunday). A Vandersambo.
Update: it turns out that some company has made just such a product. In fact, as far as I can tell, the company sells both the "traditional" jockey and the "updated" jockey. They don't, however, have the name. And the name is everything.