When Marilla (Mars) Abrahamsen was 17, she drove her van across the United States. Abrahamsen and her unlikely pet friends, a dog and a rat, spent four years off and on travelling everywhere from Colorado to New Mexico to Rhode Island. Most of Abrahamsen’s time away from her hometown in Greene County was spent in New Orleans, though, which is where she first learned about free markets.
Following posted signs, Abrahamsen discovered a backyard filled with countless free goods for locals and travelers alike. Think yard sale with purpose and at no cost. Free items were piled in the middle of the yard, available for anyone to take, and on the outskirts were a line of tables offering skill shares such as sewing and haircutting.