Goodtime Train Rolls Into Devon

Devon Dispatch, May 5, 1998

by Scott Fisher

You're only as old as you think you are.

Thirty-nine year-old Alex Mahé still feels like a child.

Devon

"Some of us are hiding the child within us," he says."Let it out. It relieves the stress of everyday life."

Mahé, a children's entertainer, brought his Goodtime Train act to Robina Baker Elementary School last week.

Although he's performed hundreds of shows over the last decade, he says the Devon children were exceptional.

"Their music teacher, Carolyn Down, had taught them the songs. And you could tell that they knew them because when it came time for the concert, they were focussed.

"They were doing so good that I introduced some new songs and they caught on like that," he says snapping his fingers.

"And I didn't see one kid goofing off. In two shows! I've never seen that before."

Mahé's love for children and entertaining dates back to his own childhood as the middle sibling among 10 brothers and sisters.

Growing up on a farm near St. Paul, young Alex would often give his overworked mother a break by caring for the younger children.

"She'd ask me, 'Alex, can you take your younger brothers and sisters and hold the fort for awhile?'

"They used to love it because we'd make up all kinds of games."

Following his high school graduation, Mahé went hitchhiking through British Columbia with a friend who knew how to play the guitar.

"When I came back I knew how to play a few chords. My friend ended up selling me his guitar for $35."

And the rest, as they say, is history.

As he became more proficient on the guitar, he started to ponder his future.

"I wanted to work with children. But I didn't know where or how."

He decided to enroll in Grant MacEwan Community College's Early Childhood Development Program and became the first male in Alberta to graduate in 1981.

He often brought his guitar to classes to share his love of music and entertaining.

Before long parents began to ask him if he was going to pursue a professional career.


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