I didn't at first. I've never seen one, either. So I drove to the neighborhood she told me about until I spotted the tree. The family who lives there told me it is a papaya. They planted the tree more than a year ago, so it weathered our winter just fine. It's planted on the south side of the house, which undoubtedly helps.
Papaya trees can be male, female, or both. A male plant does not have ovaries, so no fruit. A female plant will set fruit, but when no male plant is near to fertilize it, it aborts the fruit. A male/female tree is self-pollinating. The papaya tree in Beaumont has three side by side, all with large fruit, so they either have another male nearby or are self-pollinating types.