Memories of the moon landing that historic Sunday night

July 22, 2019 01:14 PM

SCHENECTADY – He’s kept wire copy with his notes on top for 50 years. He knew they would come in handy someday. Saturday was that day.

Warren Garling, who turns 67 this month, was a local deejay going by the name of Jesse James on WSNY. He was still 16 when, that Sunday night, the night the “Eagle has landed” and Neil Armstrong stepped off the ladder onto the “powdered charcoal” surface of the moon, he reported it in between songs.


“For me it was quite the night because ever since I was about 10-years old, when Alan Shepherd went up, I've been watching the lift-offs, whenever I could,” said Garling. “Usually they were in the morning before we went off to school."

These days Garling is retired but can still be heard Sundays on WTRY, known as Chris Warren. On July 20, 1969, he hadn't even been on the air a month yet when Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins landed. There was a news person in that night and the boss called the studio.

“I need you to say,” he recalled from the conversation, every time you give the time, “U-S first man on the moon time.”

Garling spent time last year writing a memoir about his radio days, “I’ll Have to Ask My Mom: A Radio Journey.”

He wrote: "I know it sounds corny in retrospect but c'mon, this is 1969. America's at war in Vietnam, disgruntled students are marching in the streets in protest, terrorists are hijacking jet airlines right out of the sky, bombs are going off in government buildings across the country. For a few minutes in the middle of the summer of '69 the world is breathing, cheering and praying in unison, celebrating our generation's biggest achievement. We needed this."


WNYT Staff

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