Best stories so far of 'While You Were Sleeping' series

A look back at our favorite late-night people

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter, Tim Stewart - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - From taco makers to bingo players, they stay awake while everyone else sleeps.

Somewhere between the twilight’s last gleaming and the dawn’s early light, some San Antonians get a whole lot done.

As featured in the KSAT 12 News weekly series, “While You Were Sleeping,” quite a few people are up and about while most others are sleeping.

On this Fourth of July, we’re taking a look back at some of those bright lights who shine all through the night.

The “best of” report revisits some of the people who have appeared in previous stories, everyone from all-night taco makers to late night bingo players.

“You can't be a sore loser playing bingo. It's just fun, you know, and we enjoy it,” said Diana Holguin, who along with her two sisters frequents the Ingram Late Night Bingo parlor.

The three of them prefer to try their luck at an hour when many other people would shy away, a time when they believe there’s not as much competition.

One recent night, they stayed until the early morning hours, hoping to get their hands on one of the $750 jackpots.

Luck can also play a role for Olinda Cardenas, a crime scene investigator for the San Antonio Police Department.

More often, though, crimes are solved through the hard work that she and others on the overnight shift do.

“It's not as glamorous as TV. It's hot. The conditions can be a little rough some times. But I have fun doing it,” Cardenas said.

James Vargas also enjoys what he does, although most times he does it alone.

He’s the overnight security officer at the San Antonio Zoo.

In a single night, he often walks the equivalent of 26 miles, patrolling the grounds and watching over the animals.

It takes a whole crew of people, though, to change over another San Antonio attraction.

The AT&T Center is home to both the San Antonio Spurs and the San Antonio Rampage.

When the two teams play back to back games, the arena needs an overnight makeover.

A team of about 40-50 complete the switch, sometimes in an eight-hour shift, turning an ice rink into a basketball court, and vice versa.

Keeping the downtown area clean falls on the shoulders of employees with Centro San Antonio.

Their goal each night is to make it “look like the celebration never happened.”

The crew sweeps the streets, washes down sidewalks and benches and waters plants as part of their job.

“We try to make it as clean as possible for everyone during the daytime so they can enjoy their time downtown,” said Calen Emmons, a team leader with Centro.

Whatever their reasons for losing sleep, they all make things more pleasant for everyone else.

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