Takoma Park's colorful and outspoken mayor, Sammie A. Abbott, has just returned home from a visit to the atomic-bombed Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with -- one senses from an interview with Tokyo-based Washington Post correspondent John Burgess -- a sense of frustration. He recounted how he has been rebuffed in efforts to establish, for his declared nuclear-free Maryland suburb of Washington, a sister city relationship with a comparable community in the Soviet Union.
Join the club, Sam.
We have at hand an Associated Press dispatch that reports how our Virginia neighbor of Fredericksburg has similarly been rebuffed. It isn't because Fredericksburg wants to be friends with Starobel'sk, population 22,700; it's because officialdom in Starobel'sk wants to throw darts at the relationship between Moscow and Washington.
"Your leaders" -- by that, we assume they're focusing upon President Reagan rather than Fredericksburg Mayor Lawrence S. Davies -- "negate the possibility of peaceful coexistence . . . The principle is good," but America is guilty of "reactionary behavior" that rules out a relationship.
The peace and antinuclear groups that pressed for the relationship, starting in 1983, were disappointed but not totally discouraged.
"It almost looks as if it is a form letter," said Edith Walsh, a founder of the local antinuclear alliance. "You can almost hear them saying the city-pairing proposal must be some sort of secret scheme" involving the CIA. "I think they think we're lying," she added.
A renewed bid is planned to Starobel'sk, the location of a medical college, a state farming school, a brewery and several other factories.