Yard sale!


I’m doing a yard sale tomorrow if anyone wants to come by! I’ll be at 4100 Coloniale near Duluth in the Plateau from around 12-6pm. Included in the sale will be these cool and kitschy embroideries, a 1.5′ tall ceramic dog, and a bunch of other stuff I’ve found in the last few weeks. I won’t be doing many more yard sales this year so come while you can!


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Hateful things


I’ve been picking for many years now and have found lots of different “things” along the way. While most of my finds these days have a familiar (but nevertheless novel) quality I still occasionally happen across something I’ve never seen before. Usually it’s a tool of a trade or profession, or something related to a fairly niche interest. This time it’s hate literature published by various far-right, fascist, and Neo-Nazi organizations in Canada and France.

To be clear I’ve come across racist items before (like the Chief Wahoo toy I found a little while back), just nothing relating to or promoting any kind of overtly racist movement.

It’s fair to wonder if humanity would have been better off if I left these in the trash. However, I think it’s important that they continue to exist. These publications are actually pretty hard to find and might prove valuable to someone interested in researching the topic. And there’s always that old George Santayana quote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” It’s good to remember that these types of ideas still exist, even if we may not see any evidence of them within our social bubbles.

The literature dates from 1980 to 1994 and was published by a few different organizations. I’ll describe the groups briefly in the next few paragraphs, but if you prefer not to read about such things check back for my next post – I promise that my it will be very charming! (Hint: this week I found a great collection of kitschy embroideries and a large ceramic dog).


Le Flambeau was published by the PNFE (French and European Nationalist Party), a group of French Neo-Nazis and Skinheads that operated between 1987-2000. One of the covers celebrates the life of Léon Degrelle, a Belgian Nazi collaborator who later fled to Spain and became a prominent figure in fascist and Neo-Nazi movements. This group was blamed for several attacks on immigrants as well as the vandalism of a Jewish cemetery.


I haven’t looked to much into this pamphlet (that block of text would seriously challenge my French skills), but from a glance it seems to be a letter by Roger Dommergue (a holocaust denier) defending a guy named Robert Faurisson (another holocaust denier) against some type of charge against him.


Jeune Nation was a magazine run by the Cercle Jeune Nation. It’s hard to find any reference to it online outside of this 1996 article discussing Quebec’s Catholic far right. According to the article, Cercle Jeune Nation sought to “to construct a French Canadian fascist ideology” and considered race and religion the cornerstones of “a ‘true’ French Canadian identity.” This issue features an article by Günter Deckert, a holocaust denier who once led Germany’s far-right National Democratic Party. I have several copies of this magazine as well as a letter acknowledging a donation to the organization. Cercle Jeune Nation appears to have been based out of Laval, Quebec – just north of Montreal.


Serviam was (perhaps still is?) the journal of Canada’s National Unity Party. That party was created in 1934 by Adrien Arcand, a nut who referred to himself as the “Canadian Führer.” The party was banned in 1940, but it appears that they continued on an unofficial basis after that point. The Serviam magazines I found were all published in the mid-1980s. Each issue ends with a “Declaration of Principles” and the slogan “Vive le Canada; Vive le parti, Vive Arcand.” These magazines are largely French but also include the occasional English article.

A potentially interesting side note here is that I found these papers at the same spot that provided the interesting UFO ephemera a while back. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on that spot going forward.

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The end of summer is near. Maybe that’s a good thing, because I haven’t found much of value since it began!

I consider an average week to be one where I find around 500$ worth of stuff – that would give me an income of 26000$ for the year. I looked back at my recent blogs posts and found that I’ve had maybe two such weeks (out of a possible 16) since mid-May, and that’s assuming my Sonneman lamp and vintage US military posters make me as much as I think they can. I’d guess that over the summer I’ve averaged maybe 300$ of finds a week, or 1200$ a month.

That’s just not very good, and it’s hard not to overthink things after such an extended poor stretch. I start wondering if I’m doing something wrong, if people just aren’t throwing things away like they used to, if I’ve inspired a legion of pickers who are finding my stuff before I get there, if this cat I found eating garbage in St Michel is somehow to blame, and so on.

However, the most likely explanation here is that I’ve just run into a stretch of bad luck. Overall I can be expected to find a certain amount of garbage over a full year. Sometimes I’ll have a really good week or month (for example, this January was pretty good mostly thanks to one great pile, and it felt like I couldn’t stop finding great stuff last May) while other times will be more like this summer. I have to assume that at some point my finds will regress to the mean, or in other words my luck will switch to neutral or good instead of bad. Let’s hope my luck improves in time for the holiday season!


The week before last was actually pretty horrible. The only noteworthy thing I found was a collection of cute vintage dishes and ashtrays. At top left is an ashtray made to promote the unfortunately named Squaw Valley ski resort.


Last week was a bit better, though still mediocre from a value standpoint. I also found some disturbing old papers as I’ll explain a bit later.

I fished this little jewellery box out of some bags on McLynn in NDG. Inside was mostly junk or broken jewellery, but also a few bits of scrap gold and a nice pair of vintage screw back ballerina earrings that were tied together by a muck of twisted chains. The earrings are adorned with marcasite and small turquoise stones. I later noticed that the earrings were marked as sterling silver, but I haven’t tested them to be sure. The scrap gold (including a busted chain, a small pendant or charm, and a ring that might or might not be gold) will probably make me around 50$ when I bring it to be melted.


Someone in TMR put their entire 90s JVC stereo setup (except for the speakers I suppose) on the curb. I tested everything (receiver, cassette deck, CD player, and record player) and it all works fine. They look very lightly used, and I expect that I can sell the entire collection for close to 200$.


Rosemont was my most interesting (and also unsettling) run of the week. I came across a few different productive piles, one of which provided me a collection of vintage “Made in Japan” figurines and wall decorations. Most are repaired or slightly broken, but I think most are still cute enough to sell at a yard sale.


I found a 10k gold pendant at the same pile. It’s probably worth about 30$ in gold content.

That’s it for the nice stuff though. Not far from that spot lay some papers that you might find downright disturbing. I won’t say much about them now except that they advance far-right, fascist, and Neo-Nazi political views. I feel that I should share them because they represent a very real part of our culture, but if you prefer not to see this kind of stuff I would suggest skipping my next post. It should be done tomorrow or the next day, and will be called “Hateful Things.”

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