SAN ANTONIO – The start of the year 2019 ushered in a brand new weekly series for KSAT 12 News.
The stories, known collectively as “While You Were Sleeping,” air during Good Morning San Antonio each Thursday and highlight people who keep unusual hours while the rest of us sleep.
The series debuted in January with a look at one man who hits the streets in the wee hours to make sure those electric scooters are all charged up and ready for the day ahead.
“I usually go to sleep around midnight or 1 in the morning and then wake up, like, 5,” said Eduardo Guadardo, explaining the hours he keeps in order to do the fiercely competitive job.
Guadardo is known as a “Lime juicer,” the nickname given to those who charge the bright green Lime brand scooters.
While he is out and about, a whole team is in the kitchen at the Original Donut Shop on the Northwest side.
One half of the restaurant serves donuts, while the other specializes in breakfast tacos.
Workers on both sides arrive before daylight to get ready for the early morning rush.
In February, the focus was on tacos in a truck.
Tacos El Regio, a mobile eatery, is a popular spot among late-night partiers on the St. Mary’s Strip just north of downtown.
That same month, we spent time with Kacy Johnson aboard a Tiger Sanitation garbage truck.
He empties dumpsters in the middle of the night outside local businesses.
While it’s said that one person’s trash can be another’s treasure, Johnson said that has never been the case for him.
“My treasure is getting home safely to my kids every day,” he said.
The month of March brought overnight changes to the AT&T Center.
We watched as a crew of about 40 people transformed the venue from a hockey rink to a basketball arena in a matter of hours.
It’s a practice they repeat many times over during the season when the San Antonio Rampage and San Antonio Spurs have back-to-back games.
Another big space opened its doors to KSAT 12’s cameras in April.
HEB Plus near Highway 281 and Evans Road is buzzing with activity all night long.
“(The) early morning bird catches the worm. We're going to catch the customers,” said Tammy Moore, who works as a deli team leader.
Moore’s job has her out of bed and preparing sandwiches in time for the store’s 6 a.m. opening each day.
In a shop across town, the buzzing of a tattoo gun kept a customer awake as she got some overnight ink in May.
A few weeks later, a crime committed with a gun had us riding along with a special team from the San Antonio Police Department.
Crime Scene Investigators, or CSI, collect evidence at the scenes of many crimes.
“It could be anything as simple as doing some narcotics tests for officers, or it can get as crazy as responding to murders,” said Olinda Cardenas, who has been part of the CSI team for about a decade.
The middle of the year was all about showing off machines, from robots inside Amazon’s 24-hour Fulfillment Center in Schertz to the device that spins numbered balls at Ingram Late Night Bingo.
Also working like a machine was Stephanie Hernandez, the owner of Reflexion, an all-hours hair salon.
“For one appointment, (clients) wait at least two weeks because I'm super busy and I have three assistants,” Hernandez said.
One of the highlights of July was shining a spotlight on the people at TransGuide, a state-run center where highway traffic is monitored all day and all night.
Some people who headed down the wrong road in life ended up in the Bexar County jail.
Staff members there keep odd hours to keep watch over the inmates.
Also watching for anything unusual are the Alamo Rangers, the security force in place at San Antonio’s most famous historic site.
We walked the grounds with them in August as they patrolled in the middle of the night.
Debra Streetman covered a lot of ground in her car that same month as she delivered the Seguin Gazette newspaper.
A few weeks later, in September, we took a ride in a downtown horse-drawn carriage, driven by Jackie Verna with the Yellow Rose/HRH Carriage companies.
“I love meeting people from all over the world, which I have. And I love the nightlife,” she said.
Verna’s job keeps her in the driver’s seat until the late-night hours.
Then she spends more time going through the process of putting her horse to bed.
We found two students in October who spend very little time in bed, themselves, and nearly every waking hour on campus at UTSA.
”It’s 4 a.m. and I’m here to work,” Danielle Badiola said.
She and her longtime friend, Natalina Velez, often take advantage of the school’s 24-hour library for studying.
While many people were focused on Thanksgiving in November, Elias Gonzalez was helping to feed the hungry as he does all year long.
He is one of three employees with the San Antonio Food Bank who work as drivers for the Food Rescue program.
They visit Starbucks locations after hours and collect leftover food that the coffee giant donates.
The nightly hauls are then dropped off at the food bank’s community kitchen for use in the next day’s meals.
The year ended with a visit to USAA’s Unified Command Center.
On the campus of the company, which provides insurance and banking services to military members and their families, the UCC acts as a nerve center.
There, staff members monitor weather and other significant events at all hours of the day.
When any of it presents a potential danger to employees in any part of the world, the center’s staff members can send out alerts, warning them.
Although the spotlight was on them for one night in December, they work to keep people safe and secure all year long.