In 1978 a baby squirrel was rescued after being blown from her nest after a hurricane and taken in by Chuck and Lou Ann Best. The little squirrel adapted very well to her new home. She loved to nestle in Lou Ann's shirt for warmth while she slept. She went everywhere with her new family. She greeted all the kids at their roller skating rink and even went on their camping and water-skiing excursions where she loved to sit on Chuck and Lou Ann's shoulder while they sat in the water. Sometimes she would even take a dip into the water to get cooled off on a hot day.
Later, Chuck bought his daughter, Lalainia, a remote controlled boat for her birthday. Their friends started teasing him saying that he bought it for himself, since he played with it all the time. Defending himself, he quipped, “I have to learn to drive the boat so I can teach my squirrel to water-ski." Chuck and Lou Ann proceeded to teach their squirrel to ski while on their river outings.
It wasn't long before the local newspaper, The Sanford Herald, heard about the little aquatic squirrel and published the first newspaper story about her in May of 1979. The Orlando Sentinel followed, and then it hit the UPI circuit. Many fans sent clippings to the Best's from all over the world.
ABC out of Orlando, FL filmed the first news story which ran on Good Morning America winning an Emmy award for the story. Before long, the Best's were contacted by "Real People" and then appeared on her first national television show. Telephone calls flooded in from shows wanting their squirrel to perform. The little squirrel was on her way to stardom.
Chuck and Lou Ann felt that their squirrel needed a stage name and decided to name her "Twiggy" since she chewed the leaves off all of Lou Ann's house plants leaving nothing but twigs.
Twiggy has been performing for twenty-seven years traveling all across the US, Canada, Bermuda, Paris, France and Germany. She has appeared in numerous books, magazines, newspapers, and on television shows all over the world.
Chuck and Lou Ann also trained other animals to water-ski, two miniature horses, two French poodles, a black cat, an armadillo and a toad frog. They even taught a squirrel named Ollie to jet-ski.
In November of 1997 Chuck Best had a heart attack and drowned while saving the life of his step father. Lou Ann canceled all shows currently booked for the winter 1998 and prayed for guidance from the Lord as to what to do. Soon the Lord gave her a sign. Just like in the beginning when all this craziness began, she was flooded with phone calls. Everyone wanted Twiggy.
Lou Ann, with the Lord's help, trained Twiggy IV and started touring again with this amazing water-ski act. Some of Twiggy's credits include three movies, "Good Morning America", "The Rosie O'Donnell Show", "The Wayne Brady Show", " Late Night with David Letterman", she has been noted in school books, the Encyclopedia Britannica, on covers of magazines, on many television game shows and even had her picture on Interstate billboards promoting some of her shows.
Twiggy always puts safety first. She never goes on the water without her little squirrel sized life-jacket and she is always sharing the importance of water-safety to all her adoring fans.