By the time we got back to his kitchen, my frozen specimen was beginning to thaw and become slightly soggy, but we were still able to cut it open to get a good look inside. Then I had to find out more. Using what few hints we had, I went to Google Images and typed in "orange fruit spider repellent", and instantly gained access to the entire history of the Osage orange, aka horse-apple, hedge apple, Bois D'Arc, or Bodark, Maclura pomifera, monkey brains, and a multitude of other names. Turns out they're originally native to the Osage Nation area of Texas and Oklahoma, the Osage Indians found the wood of the Osage orange tree made the best bows and the fruits were indeed used as a spider repellent. The bush was spread throughout our country by farmers before the invention of barbed wire because it thrived in hedge rows around pastures and worked well to fence in cattle.
More pics of the Osage oranges we found.
Definitely NOT a fan of spiders in my home NOR harsh chemicals, now that I know where there is a supply of a "natural" spider repellent, next year I'll make it a point to gather a small basket of Osage oranges in the early fall - before the fruits have frozen on the vine.