Bryson became a boomtown as the United States prepared for World War II. The town had so many gambling and prostitution joints that there was hardly room for a cafe or a boarding house, so there was a chronic labor shortage. The town's refinery contracted Ernest Tubb to play a free outdoor dance every weekend in order to draw roughnecks and roustabouts to the area. I worked these oilfields in the early 60s and Bryson was then known for great ice cream at its drug store's soda fountain. Today Bryson enjoys a bit of sophistication joining Mineral Wells, Possum Kingdom, Lone Camp and Newcastle as destinations to buy alcoholic beverages.