I had a problem like this. i was riding along and had a bearing completely destroy itself. i mean sheild was mangled and the bearing cage was in pieces and the ball bearings were gone. i only had the inner and outter race left. it was shitty.
I had the same thing happen, but that was my very first longboard so if you mentioned the words "Bearing Spacers" I would probably of looked at you like you were crazy.
Nice story though, too bad about the bearing but I"m glad you had a good session!