Under normal circumstances, photographs taken in color for use in any issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED must be developed in our New York photo lab sometime before Sunday afternoon. But when a major sports event stretches toward Sunday evening, as the Masters did last weekend, we have to make other arrangements. Instead of doing the job in New York, we ship the exposed film, along with a task force of editors, directly to Chicago where the magazine is produced. There, two gentlemen named John Susan and Irv Rosen, who operate the ANRO Color Service, rush it through the tanks and directly to the on-the-spot editors, who thus gain sufficient time to choose the pictures they want to print.
Quiet, relaxed and unassuming, John and Irv are highly interesting characters—and not just because they know almost everything there is to know about film processing. They met 24 years ago during World War II at Stalag 17—a real German prison camp that later lent its name to a Broadway play.
Susan, shot down during a raid over Kiel, arrived at Stalag 17 in May 1943. Rosen, shot down over Naples in July, was imprisoned first in Italy. He escaped, was recaptured and was hustled off to Germany.
Susan had gotten some rudimentary training in undercover work in the Army (secret photographs and such). To keep his hand in at Stalag 17, he set up an "underground" photography school in the barracks. Rosen, a camera enthusiast, joined him in the project. Using cameras and film that were smuggled into camp via the French Resistance, the prisoners took pictures of everything they could find. They hid their equipment in sewers, outhouses, anywhere.
"We never came close to getting caught," Susan says. "The Nazis had no idea what we were doing."
"But they must have known we were up to something," says Rosen. "They were always searching. They'd wait until a rainy day and then order us out of the barracks. We'd stand out in the rain all day while they poked around."
After they were liberated—on May 3, 1945—they returned to the U.S., loaded with contraband film stored in tooth-powder cans. Rosen turned the film over to the Army, and Susan was flown to the Pentagon to explain the details to G-2. Back in Chicago, they decided to stick with photography. With savings and back pay, the two of them set up their own color lab on Wabash Avenue. The "an," as you may have guessed, is from Susan, the "ro" from Rosen.
We have been using ANRO since 1962, and expect to continue. As Picture Editor George Bloodgood says: "You can't beat them."
SUSAN AND ROSEN: NO MORE STALAG 17