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I have a 1995 pickup, 4.3 5 speed 2wd. Sometimes the power steering is seems like it is not working then all of a sudden starts working. It comes and goes. It works most of the time but not all the time. I don't hear and unusual noises and the fluid level is full and looks clean.
 

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After you have eliminated low fluid or loose belt, I suspect a weak power steering pump. You could put some Lucas Power steering restore in it to see if it perks up.
 

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yea and when you add fluid turn the wheel far left and right several times - this gets the air outa the system which can cause intermittent issues (just like air in brake lines)
 
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