Check if it's the neutral safety switch that maybe needs adjusted. Hold the key on start and move the shifter from park to low and back and forth a couple of times, listening for any spot that the starter cranks. If it does make a note of what gear, neutral and park are ok, but anything else and it needs adjusting. If it still doesn't crank, then you will need either a 12 volt test light or voltmeter in order to do some simple testing. Do you have either of these?
I tried what you suggested. No sound. That is the strange part. I have never had a problem with starting the car. I have wanted to sell it to find something smaller.
I do not have a test light. The only thing I can think of, is I have noticed that the key is turning much too easily. I know this sounds crazy but I have been driving since 1966, and there is just a very slight, feeling from turning the key from acessery and another very slight feeling that is also a small hessitation before the car starts. Maybe it is just an old woman with limited knowledge of auto's.
Below is an exploded diagram of the steering column. I drew an arrow to what the ignition switch activation rod looks like incase you see if laying on the floor or hanging down. The ignition switch is #80 and the ignition key lock is #20.
There may actually be a plastic cover held on by 4 screws under that dash, under the steering column. You may want to remove the screws and that cover and see if the rod is there and moves when you turn the key and also the rod moves the ignition switch itself.