In the first week of December 1999, Cara DeGette explained how Fountain came to be the New York Times Magazine's pick as "exemplify[ing] Americana at the brink of the millennium."
From "Fountain of Ages":
City Manager Gregory Nyhoff said the Times initially contacted them in August, when a visiting reporter posed the question, "If you were to select one item to place in a time capsule which could symbolize to people in the year 3000 what everyday life was like in the year 2000, what would you select?"
The reporter posed this query to residents, business and community leaders, students, farmers and ranchers, gauging their opinions.
After a weeklong visit, the reporter returned to New York. With the help of Andrew Beveridge, a sociologist from Queens College, the paper eventually identified Fountain as a community that closely mirrored the makeup of the overall mix of the United States In its statistical analysis, the newspaper considered everything from overall composition of the city and surrounding area, the proportion of college graduates and divorced couples, the size of families as well as the age, income and race of Fountain's citizens.
The city will be featured in the paper's sixth and final issue of the magazine's millennium series. ... In addition, as part of the millennium project, those items Fountain residents identified as representing American culture will be included in a time capsule to be displayed ... at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Meanwhile, reporter Owen Perkins took to Fountain's streets to talk with people about their surroundings. Andrew Cratty, a casino slot attendant from Divide, wasn't feeling quite as enraptured as the folks at the Times.
When was the last time you were in Fountain? "I don't know. I try not to come down here very often."
What would it take to get you back to Fountain? "Maybe if I needed a part for a washer or something."
And the Movie Picks section included Kathryn Eastburn's take on Star Wars, Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.
The entire film, unlike its predecessors, is devoid of enthusiasm for the cause ... The big computer animated battles are terrific, but you might as well be watching Antz or A Bug's Life.