I've moved the following content here cause it doesn't quite jibe with our Wikitravel:Goals and non-goals and Wikitravel:Manual of style. Specificly, we try to format things consistantly and avoid the first person... That said, it's got a ton of great information. much of which I think can be copied back into the article template and some of which may need some tweaking. I hope the contributor also considers becoming a Wikitravel:Docent since s/he has such great insider knowlege.... Of course, lemme know if there are any questions/comments! Maj 23:10, 5 August 2006 (EDT)
There are two Forest Groves: the one gleaming in the resplendent gloss of Pacific University pamphlets and the one burgeoning with spiritual and intellectual poverty. Physically, the town is not much larger than a mining camp that overgrew its boundaries in the late 1800's, and literally the town began as a crossroads between mining camps purging copper from the foothills of the Cascades. Furthermore, the town became populated by the outlying religious farming communities of Verboort and Gaston, evolving into today's attempt at reconcilitation between the suburban environment of Beaverton and the former fur-trapping outpost of Timber.
Currently, Pacific University, Oregon's oldest college, maintains dominance over the broken spirited community. It is as typical to witness schizophrenics stumbling through university commons with bottles of poorly concealed malt liquour, as it is to see college students stagger through government housing complexes with bottles of Wild Turkey and poorly concealed disdain for all they encounter. Certainly, Forest Grove serves as an excellent example of social and racial stratification, housing white college students and professors while keeping minorities under lock, key, and behind a two foot wall in the city of Cornelius. In the dual nature of this humble and humiliating town we also find diverse souls in exile, stuck to the firmament and begging for rich loam. Jews are ostracized, as are african-americans, mexicans, and even asian-americans. The only exception are Hawaiians and persons of polynesian desent, whom are worshipped by the University for their willingness to pay 21,000 dollars a year for a tepid and brackish education.
Commercially, the town obtains most of its revenue through alcohol sales, as the food is of the quality one discovers in a prison or a psychiatric ward (food poisoning from local restaurants remains a tragically uncorrected problem). Otherwise, the downtown area boasts a wide array of antique stores, for it is standard practice by shop owners to buy out furniture and valuables from the elderly while they lay on their death beds in Jennings McCall assisted living center. If not for the elderly or for college students, the town would die financially. Additionally, the few banks in the area struggle so visibly at meeting their quotas that fraud is prevelant and rampant. One college student named Mr. Hoffman attempted to found his own bank after a personal demonstration, suffice to say Mr. Hoffman is no longer amoung the living.
Besides the college and the commercial sector, the town is home to a Grand Masonic Lodge, that operates under the auspices of a business. Linking it to the West Gate by a community of Masons, their force on the town maintains a truely disgusting effect. The moral and spiritual ramparts of the town are non-existance, by virtue of a close relationship to the secret society, which subsumes wealth and young bodies like a maniacal Moloch devouring through the resistant and open-hearted. Truely disparaging is the fact that cocaine use is rampant through out the town, particularly in the Masonic lodges. It is not uncommon to witness the mayor waltzing through the streets in a frenzy early in the morning, white snot dripping from his nose and his pupils as wide as dinner plates. Truely, the Masons have wrought nothing but starvation of the spirit on the town.
On the other hand, Forest Grove serves as the perfect atmosphere for lovers, in that a boy may find a girl to be gorgeous and ephemereal in contrast to the stark disgust of setting. Romance is often the only way to alleviate real and imagined sufferings, and this holds truer for the town of Forest Grove. Fall in love, but upon the production of children, a terrible loss, for the Masons will educate them in summer camps and force them to watch one unfortunate child get hacked to pieces by a well-trained torture artist. Still, in the depths of hell, romance blossoms and is made all the more beautiful.
My advice to persons who unceremoniously discover themselves trapped in the town of Forest Grove is to fight like tomorrow will never come, to embrace the bravery of the sword with an iron heart, to hack your way from the oily pits of rural despair with the mammoth tusk of truth and courage. The roads are disorientating and filled with pick-up trucks boasting machine-guns, so escape by vehicle is rarely effective. Rather, I recommend walking through the middle of traffic, thereby stunning the crowd with your knight-like resolve...but otherwise for visitors, the only advice I can really give is not to remain for you will hate there like you have never hated before, and if you remain long enough to need a job, you will work as if you were rowing in a slave's galley.