Sometimes the steering shaft gets sloppy over the years, and it will actually move up and down inside the column housing. It's not supposed to do that, but it does, especially on tilt columns. If the column has ever been set down on the ground with the splines on the floor it could shove the shaft up inside the column. Try grabbing the splined end and pulling it downward while jiggling it. Is the steering wheel still on it?
You will not be able to move the column at the bracket.
Go Fish! <*////><
But the right word at the right time... "Hey, give me a little hug!" That's the difference between lightning and a harmless lightning bug!