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AUBURN — In a speech that honored his grandfather’s legacy, Ted Case III, the grandson of sound-on-film inventor Theodore W. Case, encouraged Founders Day guests to tap into their own sense of creativity.

Case attributed his grandfather’s success as an inventor to his strong sense of creativity and his ability to pull ideas out of himself, a task that requires work, but is well worth-while, he said. In an address, the Founders Day guest of honor gave outside city hall Saturday, Case praised Auburn’s history and dispensed advice for making the most of the city’s future.

“You have a history of vision and inspiration and a lot of accomplishment,” Case said.

Auburn’s history was made by creative thinkers, like his grandfather, who persisted in their dreams despite failure, he said.

Case encouraged the audience to do the same.

A key to true success, Case said, is to find motivation in self expression.

Rather than focusing on goals, Case advised people to focus on doing what satisfies them.

“Achievement will take care of itself,” he said.

For those who have trouble finding their creativity, Case shared an anecdote of how his grandfather tapped into his own thought process: by lighting up a cigar while floating on a raft out in Owasco Lake in a three piece suit.

In other words, look in unordinary places; be yourself.

“Vision is by definition unreasonable,” he said.

Case is a restaurant entrepreneur. He currently works as an entrepreneurial consultant and is writing a book on the topic.

The speaker said he and his family, who joined him Saturday, was honored to participate in an event that celebrated his grandfather’s legacy.

“It kind of confirms what he did,” Case said.

His grandfather was not one for large crowds gathered on his behalf, Case said. “He wasn’t a guy who loved to be in the spotlight.”

“He loved his work,” Case said.

Staff writer Sarah Gantz can be reached at 253-5311 ext. 237 or