DRIVING: MISS DONNA
if you're really lucky in las vegas, you'll get miss september as your limousine driver
Imagine the scene. You arrive in Las Vegas on business (yeah, right), and you scan the airport lounge for your ride to the hotel. Standing there holding a cardboard sign with your name on it is Miss September, Donna D'Errico. Don't laugh - it could happen to you.
Donna, you see, has her own limousine company, and one night a week, a rider might find the owner herself behind the wheel of a 1992 black stretch Lincoln Town Car. Donna is not the sort to take her customers lightly. One former passenger eventually became her boyfriend and business partner. Is Vegas a great town, or what?
Before moving to Las Vegas three years ago, Donna managed a jewelry store in her hometown of Columbus, Georgia. Her father, a career military officer and Vietnam veteran, was stationed at nearby Fort Benning. "Columbus is a small town," she says. "I grew up really sheltered." Although that sheltering included 12 years in Catholic school, Donna's move to Vegas was not a rebellion against her religious upbringing. She still attends church and enjoys reading the Bible. Donna's parents and older sister Mary support her decision to become a Playmate. "Mary has always been my best friend. She was very excited. My mom was thrilled, too. She said, 'Don't they run pictures of women over 40 in Playboy? Maybe they'll want me to pose.'" Donna expects that her Playmate appearance will surprise other folks back home, particularly the boys who attended Pacelli High School with her. "As a teenager I always felt like an ugly duckling. Now," she says with mock vanity, "I'm definitely a swan."
Since moving to Nevada, Donna has developed a passion for baccarat. But she limits her time in the casinos because she fears she could fall victim to gambling fever. So it's fitting that her lucky break came not in a casino but in a grocery store, where she was spotted by a Playboy talent scout. "It never would have occurred to me to pose," she says.
One thing that has occurred to her is a fantasy of making love on a baccarat table in a crowded casino. "It would be neat to see if I could stop all the noise and excitement -- bring everything to a halt for a moment." Donna also confesses to being an adventurous dreamer - she never knows who she'll meet once her head hits the pillow. Once she dreamed of being assigned the same hotel room as Home Improvement's" Tim Allen. On another night she was seduced by Bill Clinton aboard a train. What about Hillary? "Well, I wasn't thinking about her," she says.
Donna hopes that her Playboy appearance will lead to acting roles. "I never really pursued that dream," she says, "but I have wanted to be an actress ever since I was a little girl." She performed in school plays and took acting lessons in Columbus. Her stage debut was the lead role in a Nativity play. That would be the Virgin Mary, right? "It was elementary school," she admits. "I still had the qualifications for the role then."
-- Paul Engleman
Photography by Richard Fegley